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Wildcats What Ifs: 2020 Villanova

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How far would Villanova have gone if there was a postseason?

Villanova v Butler Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

With the abrupt end to the 2019-20 Villanova basketball season, many members of Nova Nation were left wondering, “what if?” It wouldn’t be the first time. The Wildcats, like every team, have a few games or moments that could have led to potential glory if things would have broken differently. In the Jay Wright era, there are definitely a few of them. So this week we’ll be taking a look at some of those seasons. And the final team in that series is the aforementioned…

The 2020 Villanova Wildcats

The moment - NCAA tournament cancelled

As the calendar rolled into March, Villanova was beginning to pick up steam. The Wildcats had won back-to-back games, including a road win against Seton Hall, to earn a share of the Big East title and sat at 24-7 overall entering the conference tournament. Yet they would not get there, as the coronavirus outbreak halted the sports world and led to the cancellation of the NCAA tournament.

What lied ahead

This is a tad trickier. Let’s use the final Bracketville bracket projection as this is top rated field predictor, according to Bracket Matrix. This would put Villanova as the No. 2 seed in the East. Then, let’s assume the higher seed wins all games.

First round - No. 15 seed Northern Kentucky

Second round - No. 7 seed Michigan

Sweet 16 - No. 3 seed Duke

Elite 8 - No. 1 seed Dayton

Final 4 - No. 1 seed Gonzaga

Title game - No. 1 seed Kansas

The optimist’s view

In a year without a dominant team, the hot team could win, and Villanova was getting hot. Although the Wildcats had seven losses, all of them were against NCAA tournament teams, and one of their wins was against Kansas — the No. 1 overall seed. They could beat anyone in the field, and they would have if there was a tournament.

The pessimist’s view

They could have made a run, but it was more likely they would not. The Wildcats barely beat a shorthanded Georgetown team in their last game, and they were only the No. 18 team in the country, according to KenPom. With an up-and-down defense and little depth, it was a little too much to ask this Villanova team to cut down the nets.

Poll

How far would Villanova have gone in the 2020 NCAA tournament?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    First round
    (1 vote)
  • 7%
    Second round
    (52 votes)
  • 40%
    Sweet 16
    (272 votes)
  • 35%
    Elite 8
    (239 votes)
  • 8%
    Finale Four
    (55 votes)
  • 1%
    Title game
    (12 votes)
  • 7%
    National champs
    (49 votes)
680 votes total Vote Now