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Villanova Basketball’s Jay Wright knows how to beat the nation’s top team

Wright is no stranger to taking down the AP Poll #1.


Happy Friday Nova Nation! After several days of off-court banter, it’s time to get back to basketball. But that’s easier said than done. On Saturday, Villanova will take on the Kansas Jayhawks, the AP Poll’s #1 ranked team. As daunting as that may be, the Wildcats have a secret weapon: head coach Jay Wright.

Wright has faced the country’s top team three times in his career, all while at Villanova. He’s 2-1 in those games, and 2-0 when his team is ranked in the AP Poll Top 25. However, those two teams (2006 and 2016) probably rank among Wright’s top five all-time squads. This group has yet to reach that level, but who knows, maybe that starts with a win on Saturday.

In 2006, Wright’s #4 ranked Wildcats defeated #1 UConn at home in a back and forth thriller. It was the largest crowd to ever see a college basketball game in Pennsylvania, and was Wright’s first ever victory (or game) against the best team in the country.

In 2016, Wright’s #6 ranked Cats beat #1 Kansas in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. This, of course, was part of Villanova’s run to the 2016 National Championship. Kansas was the heavy favorite in this one, but again it was the #Attitude of Wright’s team that kept them poised throughout.

But then there’s January 11th, 2012. This was Wright’s lone loss to the #1 ranked team, and despite the team being unranked, it sounds a little closer to this year’s team than the others do. Villanova was manhandled at home by then #1 Syracuse. After the loss, Wright told reporters, “It’s just inexperience. We don’t understand yet, but we’re getting there. We didn’t quit.” However, he followed with, “Sitting here saying we didn’t quit is not a good situation if you’re pulling that as a positive.”

On Saturday, Villanova has to do more than not quit. I’m not saying everything has to come together on the road against the #1 team in the country, but just showing the effort doesn’t earn you a ticket to the NCAA Tournament when you’re playing on a national stage. The committee will need to see something more, and games like this one are where you show it.

So I leave it to you Nova Nation, how do you think Jay Wright and Villanova will fare when taking on #1 Kansas on the road tomorrow?


What’s The Outcome of #17 Villanova vs #1 Kansas?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Villanova wins in convincing fashion
    (21 votes)
  • 15%
    Villanova eeks out a close win
    (142 votes)
  • 19%
    Kansas pulls out a closer than expected victory
    (178 votes)
  • 26%
    Kansas wins comfortably but Villanova looks good
    (242 votes)
  • 36%
    Kansas wins in a blow out
    (332 votes)
915 votes total Vote Now

In other “news”, the best Josh Hart analysis of all time, Quinerly’s public apology, and all the Nova vs Kansas prep you can handle. Enjoy!

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Villanova Basketball

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Nobody's perfect, but in mid-December, nobody has to be (yet). What do the nation's top teams most need to work on?

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NBA Wildcats

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