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The Sun’s Arizin: Jay Wright’s NCAA Tournament Record

Coach has done pretty well when it comes to post-season success

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Happy Wednesday Nova Nation! After last week’s run to the Sweet 16, Jay Wright is now 32-15 when it comes to NCAA Tournament games. That’s pretty darn good, considering that no matter what, he’ll leave this season “averaging” two wins for every loss (aka a trip to the Sweet 16). Very few are the coaches that achieve that kind of success.

So today I figured we’d take a deeper dive into that NCAA Tournament record to see if there are any predictions we can make for what this week will look like for Villanova.

How does Jay Wright perform in the Sweet 16?

Wright is a modest 4-3 in the Sweet 16 for his career. But that can be a little misleading unless you put it in context. All three of Jay’s losses have come against 1 Seeds while his team was seeded 5th or lower. In the four games he won, his teams were Top 3 Seeds, and all of the opponents were a 5 seed or higher.

Michigan doesn’t fall into either of these categories, but it does bode well that when Jay has a quality team in the Sweet 16, they advance.

How does Jay Wright perform as the higher seed?

When you’re the higher seed, you’re generally going to be favored to win the game. And for the most part, that’s how things have gone for Jay. He’s 24-5 when facing a lower seed. And for anyone thinking that’s inflated by early rounds, don’t worry, it extends to the later rounds two. In the Sweet 16 and beyond, Wright is 5-1 when facing a lower seed, with the lone loss coming to #3 Florida in 2006.

So how does that compare to this week? It’s very favorable when you look at Michigan as an 11 Seed. In fact, Wright is a perfect 14-0 when facing an 11 Seed or lower in any round of the tournament.

Looking beyond that to a possible matchup with Houston, we go back to Wright’s 5-1 record against lower seeds in later rounds. Wright’s teams may have had some trouble making it to the second weekend in the past, but once they get there they perform pretty darn well.

How does Jay Wright perform as the lower seed?

As the lower seed, Jay Wright is 6-10 all time. But again, so context is needed here if we’re going to apply this to any potential future matchups like Arizona. Six of those ten losses came when Villanova was a 9 seed or lower, with the only win in that scenario coming when the Wildcats upset Clemson in 2008.

The far more telling stat is Jay’s record with a quality team. As a 2 or 3 seed facing a higher seeded opponent in the NCAA Tournament, Jay’s Villanova teams are 4-1 with the lone loss coming to UNC in 2009. And in that scenario, facing a 1 seed in the Elite 8 with a trip to the Final Four on the line, Wright’s a perfect 2-0.

So let’s start with the predictions Nova Nation, how do you think Villanova will fare this week in San Antonio?


How will the Villanova Wildcats perform this weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Not-So-Sweet 16 Loss
    (18 votes)
  • 41%
    Advance To Elite 8 But No Further
    (207 votes)
  • 54%
    We’re Heading To New Orleans!
    (271 votes)
496 votes total Vote Now

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