This month we’re having an NCAA style tournament to determine your favorite Villanova Basketball Class of the last 70 years. Be sure to check back every day to cast your votes and see who advances.
The second round came to a close yesterday, and the only double digit seed remaining in the tournament is Kerry Kittles’ class of ‘96. The classes who advanced to the Sweet 16 are ‘71 (76.7%), ‘86 (77.7%), ‘96 (67.3%), and ‘09 (54.3%).
Today we kick of the Sweet 16, and we’re down to some of the most decorated classes in Villanova history. All of these classes have gone beyond the NCAA Sweet 16, and more than half of them have been to a National Championship. These are going to be some tough votes!
#1 Class of ‘85 vs #5 Class of ‘07
1 Seed) Class of 1985: Brian Harrington, Dwayne McClain, Gary McLain, Ed Pinckney
True Seed: 1 | Record: 92-38 | NCAA Wins: 11 | Coach: Massimino
The Class of 1985 made up three of Villanova’s five starters in their senior season as they would end their tenure at Villanova by winning the NCAA National Championship. This wasn’t their only successful post-season, as they won at least one NCAA tournament game every year, including back to back trips to the Elite Eight their first two years on campus. They also made the finals of the Big East Tournament in their freshman year. They were ranked as high as 4th in the AP poll during their sophomore season, and were ranked during three of their four years at Nova.
Ed Pinckney was a four year starter, and is one of only three Villanova players to record 1,000+ points (1,865), 500+ rebounds (1107), 200+ assists (226), 100+ steals (196), and 50+ blocks (253). Dwayne McClain, another four year starter, currently ranks in the Top 30 All-Time in steals, assists, blocks, and scoring. The third star of this class, Gary McLain, is Top 10 All-Time in assists, and ranks 38th All-Time in steals.
5 Seed) Class of 2007: Ross Condon, Mike Nardi, Will Sheridan
True Seed: 17 | Record: 92-41 | NCAA Wins: 5 | Coach: Wright
The class of 2007 went to three straight NCAA tournaments, including Sweet 16 and Elite 8 runs. They also made the Sweet 16 in the NIT their freshman year. In their junior season, they were ranked in the Top 5 of the AP Poll the entire year and were Co-Big East Regular Season Champions. Mike Nardi, now a coach on Jay Wright’s staff, was a four year starter and ranks 13th in assists, 29th in steals, and 41st in scoring All-Time for the Wildcats. The other star of the class, Will Sheridan, ranks 8th in blocks, 23rd in rebounds, and 34th in steals All-Time.
#2 Class of ‘19 vs #3 Class of ‘72
2 Seed) Class of 2019: Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson, Eric Paschall
True Seed: 8 | Record: 67-9 | NCAA Wins: 7 | Coach: Wright
The class of 2019 has only played for two seasons, but they’ve arguably been two of the best seasons in school history. They’ve made the NCAA tournament in each season, winning the 2016 National Championship and entering the 2017 tournament as the #1 overall seed. They’re also currently on pace to have 134 career wins, which would be the most victories of any class in Villanova history. They’ve been ranked #1 in the AP Poll in each of their two seasons on campus, and last year’s team was ranked in the Top 4 for the entire season.
Even with only two years played, this class is already claiming spots on the All-Time lists. Jalen Brunson is currently tied for 32nd in assists while Mikal Bridges ranks 22nd in blocks and 39th in steals. Both should continue to climb up the All-Time ranks this upcoming season.
3 Seed) Class of 1972: Mike Daly, Chris Ford, Bob Gohl, Joe McDowell, Hank Siemiontkowski
True Seed: 9 | Record: 69-22 | NCAA Wins: 7 | Coach: Kraft
The class of 1972 helped Villanova reach the ‘71 NCAA championships, as well as the Elite 8 the year before and the Sweet 16 the year after. They were also ranked in the Top 12 of the AP Poll during each of their three seasons, cracking the Top 10 their first two years. The class star, Chris Ford, started all three years of varsity and currently ranks 5th in assists, 31st in scoring, and 41st in rebounds All-Time for Villanova. Hank Siemiontkowski is also on the All-Time lists, ranking 19th in rebounds and 46th in scoring for the Wildcats.
#1 Class of ‘17 vs #4 Class of ‘08
1 Seed) Class of 2017: Denny Grace, Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins, Darryl Reynolds
True Seed: 2 | Record: 129-17 | NCAA Wins: 9 | Coach: Wright
The Class of 2017 has so many accolades that it will be difficult to list them all here. They were the 2016 National Champions and they made four consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament, coming in as the #1 overall seed their senior season. They won four consecutive outright Big East Regular Season Championships, a first for the school and the conference. They won two Big East tournaments, with Josh Hart being named the tournament Most Outstanding Player in each of those years. They went undefeated in four years of Big 5 play, another first for the school and the Big 5. The were on the first Villanova team to ever be ranked #1 in the AP Poll, and they were ranked in the Top 3 of the poll in every season they played at Villanova. They never finished a season ranked in the AP Poll any lower than 6th.
They also achieved a lot individually. In addition to the BET MOPs, Josh Hart was the 2017 Big East Player of the Year and a unanimous first team All-American. He also won the 2017 Julius Erving award as the nation’s best small forward. For Villanova, Hart ranks 10th in points, 14th in rebounds, 16th in steals, and 27th in assists All-Time. His teammate, Kris Jenkins, will forever be know for hitting the biggest shot in Villanova history to win the 2016 National Championship on a buzzer beater three. Jenkins ranks 36th in scoring, 40th in assists, and tied for 40th in steals All-Time for the Wildcats. The big man of the class, Darryl Reynolds, closed out his career tied for 18th All-Time in blocks for Villanova.
4 Seed) Class of 2008: Kyle Lowry
True Seed: 15 | Record: 52-13 | NCAA Wins: 5 | Coach: Wright
This is the only one man class in the tournament, but it’s the most successful NBA player of the Wright era. In just two seasons, Lowry made the Sweet 16 and then the Elite 8 before leaving early for the pros. His final year at Nova, his team won a share of the Big East Regular Season Championship and spent most of the year ranked in the Top 5 of the AP Poll. That year he also led the Big East in steals while averaging over 11 points per game. In just two seasons, Lowry recorded over 100 career steals and currently ranks 36th All-Time.
#2 Class of ‘16 vs #3 Class of ‘10
2 Seed) Class of 2016: Ryan Arcidiacono, Mislav Brzoja, Dylan Ennis, Patrick Farrell, Henry Lowe, Daniel Ochefu, Kevin Rafferty
True Seed: 7 | Record: 117-27 | NCAA Wins: 8 | Coach: Wright
The class of 2016 went to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments, winning the national championship their senior season. They were ranked in the Top 3 of the AP Poll in each of their last three seasons, including reaching the #1 rank for the first time in school history during their senior season. They won the 2015 Big East Tournament, and won three consecutive Big East Regular Season Championships.
The star of the class, Ryan Arcidiacono, was the 2015 Co-Big East Player of the Year and the 2016 Final Four Most Outstanding Player. He ranks 4th in assists, 14th in steals, and 21st in scoring All-Time for Villanova. His teammate, Daniel Ochefu, was the 2014 Co-Big East Most Improved Player, and currently ranks 5th in blocks, 7th in rebounds, 35th in steals, and tied for 61st in scoring All-Time for the Wildcats.
3 Seed) Class of 2010: Jason Colenda, Casiem Drummond, Reggie Redding, Scottie Reynolds
True Seed: 10 | Record: 99-40 | NCAA Wins: 7 | Coach: Wright
The class of 2010 made four consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament, reaching the Sweet 16 as sophomores and the Final Four as juniors. They were ranked in the AP Poll for each of their last three years, including spending their entire senior season in the Top 10.
The star of the class, Scottie Reynolds, was the 2007 Big East Rookie of the Year. In 2009, he hit a late runner in the lane to send Villanova to the Final Four for the first time since they won it all in ‘85. His senior season, he was a unanimous first team All-American and the Big 5’s Most Outstanding Player. Reynolds finished his career as the school’s 2nd leading scorer All-Time, and also ranks 3rd in steals and 8th in assists. His teammate, Reggie Redding, ranks 22nd in steals and 28th in assists All-Time for the Wildcats.
Thanks for your vote! Polls for each round will close at midnight EST. Be sure to check back next time for the rest of the Sweet 16. We’ll also announce the winners from today’s vote. Data for the tournament was researched at villanova.com and sports-reference.com.