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The Sun’s Arizin: Another Historic Season For Villanova Basketball

Another look at all the reasons this season has been historic.

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Villanova Mug Arizin Links

Happy Tuesday Nova Nation. Another trip to the Final Four has made this another truly special season for the Villanova Wildcats. But the final result isn’t the only thing that makes it remarkable, it’s all of the little things along the way. Today, we’re recapping some of the records and achievements that have made this such a great season for Villanova and its fans.

Final Four Royalty

Villanova has now been to three Final Fours over the past six NCAA Tournaments. First off, three Final Fours alone is tough. Only 35 teams have reached three final fours in their entire existence, let alone half a decade. While there are more than a handful of teams that have achieved this, it’s been far more elusive in the modern era. Since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, only North Carolina, UCLA, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, UConn, Michigan, Michigan State, Arkansas, UNLV, and now Villanova have accomplished that level of consistency.

Free Throw Kings

Jay has said many times this week that he wishes he could stop talking about this because he doesn’t want to effect the mental aspect of it. But the mental aspect of free throws is something that this team works on, and it’s a reason why they’re on the verge of breaking the NCAA Record for free throw percentage in a season.

The Wildcats have now built a BIG cushion for this record after going 25 for 27 from the line in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8. Basically, that means Villanova has built up a 6 miss cushion that would allow them to still get the season record. Additionally, for about every 5 made free throws they earn another potential miss.

Bottom line, Villanova would have to miss at least 7 free throws in their next game to worry about not breaking this record.

Villanova’s Iron Men

Collin Gillespie will likely go down as the player with the most games ever in a Villanova uniform. I’m not referencing the fact that he has the record now at 155 (and counting), but due to the extra season with COVID it’s unlikely any other player will surpass that mark. But Collin’s not the only one that has been on that journey.

Jermaine Samuels currently sits in second place at 152 (and counting). While he’ll always sit behind Gillespie and this possibly untouchable number, he’s just as much a part of the accomplishment. As is the player who sits at 111 games (and counting), Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree. While his playing career was derailed by injury, he’s never stopped being a teammate, a classmate, and a vocal leader for Villanova.

Together, these three have taken Villanova from the highest of highs in 2018 all the way back to the Final Four five years later. What they’ve accomplished is nothing short of remarkable. Gillespie will be the one remembered for the record, but every member of this class is just as deserving.

In other news...

Villanova Men’s Basketball

Antoine will have ‘a great opportunity’ for Villanova in Final Four after star gets injured | nj.com
With Justin Moore going down to a season-ending Achilles injury, N.J. native Bryan Antoine is expected to have a bigger role for Villanova in the Final Four.

Villanova has won two titles in six years but somehow isn't the biggest story — yet — in New Orleans | NCAA.com
Mike Lopresti walks you through what 'Villanova Basketball' is and why this season's run to the Final Four has a familiar feeling.

Recently retired Lafayette coach Fran O’Hanlon can now sport Villanova gear, thanks to Jay Wright | The Morning Call
Former Lafayette College basketball coach Fran O’Hanlon stayed true to his colors during his coaching career but now can wear the blue and white of his alma mater, Villanova.

Jay Wright is the Best Head Coach in the Final Four | Fox Sports 1070
Monday on 2 Pros and a Cup of Joe, the Final Four is set with Duke vs North Carolina and Villanova vs Kansas. All Blue Bloods, but Brady Quinn makes the case for Jay Wright being the best head coach of the group.

Jay Wright Wife: Who is Patty Wright? How They Met + Their 3 Children | Fanbuzz
Villanova's Jay Wright is one of the best coaches in college basketball. His wife, Patty Wright, has been by his side for nearly 40 years.

For Villanova’s Jermaine Samuels and Collin Gillespie, Final games come full circle | Delco Times
Jermaine Samuels and Collin Gillespie were both on the floor for the final seconds of Villanova’s national championship game victory four years ago. They were true freshmen on a title team with five NBA-bound players.

Final Four

Kansas vs. Villanova picks, odds, TV channel: Expert predictions for NCAA Tournament Final Four game | The Athletic
Villanova is without Justin Moore, but can the Wildcats pull off a minor upset against Kansas and reach its third title game in seven years.

The blue bloods are getting the last laugh in the NCAA Tournament, but we'll never forget Saint Peter's | CBSSports.com
Duke-North Carolina and Villanova-Kansas promise to provide a thrilling Final Four, though

Top 10 storylines in the Final Four, ranked by Andy Katz | NCAA.com
Here are the top 10 storylines in this year's Final Four, according to Andy Katz.

March Madness 2022: Coach K isn't only key Final Four storyline | New York Post
The 2022 March Madness tournament has been filled with stories. With the Cinderella Story Saint Peter's Peacocks gone, the remaining FInal Four have incredible storylines of their own...

Villanova Athletics

Wildcats open Liberty Bell Classic at Delaware State | Villanova University
VILLANOVA, Pa. – After winning its first series of the season in dominating fashion, Villanova heads down to the First State on Tuesday for a Liberty Bell Classic

Villanova Sits Tied for Seventh After First Day of Golden Horseshoe Intercollegiate | Villanova University
Williamsburg, Va. - The Villanova golf team currently sits tied for seventh place at the Golden Horseshoe Intercollegiate, after play was suspended due to lack of

Rauch and White Earn BIG EAST Weekly Honors | Villanova University
NEW YORK—Graduate pitcher Paige Rauch (Windsor, N.Y.) and freshman right fielder Kelsey White (Taunton, Mass.) earned weekly awards from the BIG EAST in an announcement

Rowing to host a Parent and Alumni Day on April 2 | Villanova University
VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova Rowing is set to host a Parent and Alumni Day this Saturday, April 2, at the boathouse in Conshohocken.

Pappas Named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week | Villanova University
Freshman Sydney Pappas has earned her first BIG EAST weekly award for her performance in the teams win against UC Davis Saturday. The Garden City, New York native