Happy Monday Nova Nation! It was a bit of a wild weekend in the college basketball world, and today’s polls are sure to reflect that. But the Wildcats persevered and were able to pull out wins against DePaul and the Referees this weekend en route to a first place tie with Providence in the Big East Standings.
The first half of the game was a little rough, but the second half is where the Wildcats really shined. Villanova finally had a strong shooting performance from behind the arc at 40.9%, in large part thanks to 3 for 5 shooting from both Justin Moore and Caleb Daniels. Villanova also had their elite level free throw shooting on display, going 20-22 at the line for 90.9%. The Wildcats now rank Top 10 in the country in FT% at 79.6% on the season, and lead all Power Conference teams in that category.
So with a four game winning streak under their belt, I figured it was a good time to take a look at Villanova’s NCAA Tournament Resume to see how they’re stacking up against the rest of the country.
The Wildcats currently rank 7th overall in the NET, the Selection Committee’s evaluation tool. In fact, Villanova ranks Top 8 in four of the five rankings referenced by the Committee, which would land them as a 2 Seed if the tournament started today... and we were strictly going by the numbers.
Villanova’s current win streak includes two Quad 1 wins and two Quad 2 wins, meaning not only is Villanova winning but they’re beating quality opponents. The Tennessee win continues to be Villanova’s best win of the season, but the victory at Seton Hall also qualifies as a Top Tier Q1 Win, and those can be really important when determining seed lines. Villanova will have a chance to pick up what would rank as their second best win of the season if they can pull off a road victory at Xavier this weekend.
The above image also illustrates how important it is this season that the Big East is as good as it is. Despite having four losses on the season, they all come in Q1. Additionally, Villanova has the most games remaining in Q1, giving them far more opportunities to bolster their NCAA resume than other teams. For example, Duke just dropped a home game to Miami, which counts as a Q3 loss. They have just 3 Q1 games remaining to show they can defeat top level competition, and they’re all on the road. Villanova has double those opportunities with 6, and two of them come at home.
Despite a rough start due in part to the toughest Stength of Schedule of any Power Conference team per KenPom.com, Villanova is not only highly rated but in a strong position to take advantage of a number of opportunities ahead of them. It’s a great day to be a Wildcat!
In other news, DePaul recaps, Cam Whitmore continues to look great in his final high school season, and Eric Paschall doing what he does best. Enjoy!
Villanova defeats DePaul
Freeman-Liberty's Career Game Not Enough in Loss to #19/15 Villanova | DePaul University Athletics
CHICAGO – Javon Freeman-Liberty scored a career-high 34 points, but a 15-2 run for Villanova to start the second half led the visiting Wildcats to a 79-64 decision
Freeman-Liberty's career night spoiled by Gillespie, Villanova | The DePaulia
In front of an electric crowd of 3,839 attendees, DePaul held its own for the first 30 minutes of the game before losing its grip, ultimately ending senior guard Javon Freeman-Liberty’s career night with a tough 79-64 loss against No. 15 ranked conference opponent Villanova. The loss keeps the Blue Demons winless in conference play....
Villanova leans on defense in 79-64 win over DePaul, its 21st straight victory over the Blue Demons | The IInquirer
Gillespie's 28 and Moore's 21 along with a stingy defense propelled Villanova to the Big East win.
Gillespie and Moore Help Carry Cats Past DePaul 79-64 | Villanova University
Villanova outscored DePaul 47-32 after halftime.
Villanova Men’s Basketball
Jay Wright and Ed Cooley reach coaching milestones | Big East Coast Bias
Wright hits 500 wins at Villanova, Cooley 300 in career
Villanova's Jay Wright Now a Leading Face of College Basketball | The Sports Bank
Jay Wright has become one of the faces of college basketball, at a time when the coaching portion is seeing a star drain.
Recruiting - Basketball
Cam Whitmore, Spalding take the show on the road and thrill the crowd at Coolidge High | The Washington Post
Cam Whitmore, a Villanova commit and the top-ranked local prospect in the Class of 2022, finished with 20 points in the Cavaliers' win.
Jazz Forward Eric Paschall Crushes Rim With Big Dunk Against Raptors | KSL Sports
Jazz forward Eric Paschall rocked the rim with a big dunk during the second half of Utah's game against the Toronto Raptors.
Predicting The 2022 Big East Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Awards | Anonymous Eagle
The season is coming up fast, so let’s talk about who should/might get the preseason honors.