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
Villanova wins in convincing fashion
Villanova eeks out a close win
Kansas pulls out a closer than expected victory
Kansas wins comfortably but Villanova looks good
Kansas wins in a blow out
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!
Villanova vs Kansas
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No. 1 Kansas to take on No. 17/16 Villanova in Saturday blockbuster | University of Kansas Athletics
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To the starry-eyed Kansas basketball fan, Jay Wright’s walk into Allen Fieldhouse for Saturday’s 11 a.m. clash with top-ranked Kansas might inspire visions of the Villanova coach someday taking a similar stroll out of the home team’s tunnel onto James Naismith Court.
Villanova's Quinerly apologizes for Instagram post | delcotimes.com
Frustrated over his lack of playing time, Villanova freshman guard Jahvon Quinerly took to Instagram to voice his displeasure following the Wildcats’ 78-75 loss to Penn Tuesday night.
Film Room: Why is Jahvon Quinerly struggling to get minutes for Villanova? | Yahoo! Sports
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Villanova's Jahvon Quinerly sorry for critical Instagram post | ESPN
Villanova's Jahvon Quinerly apologized after posting a statement critical of his own program on Instagram.
Dixon stands alone atop Abington record book | PA Prep Live
He’s far from finished, but Eric Dixon has already scored more points than anyone else in the history of Abington basketball.
NJ boys hoops: Shore's all-time scoring list, as Ranney's Antoine begins ascent | app
Ranney's Bryan Antoine needs 558 points to become the Shore's all-time leading scorer. He'll be passing some of the greatest players ever along the way
Offers keep rolling in for Rolling Meadows' Christie | Daily Herald
Just a sophomore, Rolling Meadows forward Max Christie has already made quite a name for himself. But not just around here.
Duke, Kansas and other top NCAA teams' key weaknesses | SI.com
Nobody's perfect, but in mid-December, nobody has to be (yet). What do the nation's top teams most need to work on?
Villanova’s Mary Gedaka is making a smooth transition from valuable sixth woman to valuable starter | The Inquirer
Last season's Big East Sixth Woman of the Year is now starting and leading the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding.
Laker Film Room: Josh Hart might be the worst player at giving high-fives in NBA, Lakers history | Silver Screen and Roll
You might think that the rest of the Lakers are leaving Josh Hart hanging on high-fives, but you would be wrong to blame them for Hart’s horrendous technique.
Donte DiVincenzo exceeding expectations and proving to be the real deal for the Bucks | Clutch Points
Bucks rookie Donte DiVincenzo is already starting to wow people years in advance, but what if we told you he'd end up being one of the very...