Villanova-American: NCAA Tournament First Round Breakdown

Steve ChottCorrespondent IMarch 18, 2009

Well it is about time. The NCAA Tournament is here.

Unlike other fans I did not have to wait thinking whether my team was going to make it or not because we knew Villanova was going to make it as a high seed.

Well as a three-seed in the East region, Villanova is getting ready for the first round where they will play 14th seed American.

There is a good side and a bad side for both of these teams coming into the game.


American: The American University Eagles are coming off a Patriot League championship and have won 13 straight games. They were ranked No. 1 overall in this tournament.

As I said they are red hot coming into this game but this could be cooled off by the red hot Villanova team.

They have the Patriot league player of the year Derrick Mercer and Garrison Carr who is averaging more points them him. 17.8 points for Carr and Mercer has 11.5.

Villanova: Well as I said this team is real hot. They went into the Big East Tournament ranked 4th and went to the Semi-Finals until they lost to Louisville.

They are a 3rd ranked team overall in their region and they learned alot from playing three number one seeds in Big East play throughout the season.

This team is great at sharing the ball and there is not one person who is a bigger star then the next guy. This is one of the reason's this team could do wonders.

One player who may stick out is the Most Improved Player in the Big East, Dante Cunningham. He leads the team in points per game and rebounds per game with 7.2.

Another thing that sets them high is their coaching. There is no doubt that Jay Wright is a great coach and his hard work has payed off this year, winning him Big East coach of the year.


American: American faces alot of disadvantages in this game. Too start off they have no beat a single ranked team this year. Their competition is no where near what Villanova will give them.

American will also be traveling to Philadelphia to play Villanova. If you didn't know Villanova will be playing very close to their home stadium. They will have their fans with them their, which is a big advantage for them.

One other disadvantage they face is that Villanova tends not to lose to teams that are non-ranked.

This is the NCAA Tournament and anything can happen but American will have to step up big time to be able to beat Villanova.

Villanova: Probably the biggest disadvantage Villanova faces going into this game is something that can be fixed. It's their turnovers.

Villanova has had some problems with turning the ball over big time and would be a very dangerous team if they didn't turn it over.

Another thing they need to watch out for is avoiding cold streaks. It seems when they start to miss shots they have trouble getting their stroke back.

The Players:

Villanova F, Dante Cunningham: The Big East comeback player of the year is probably the most valuable player that the Wildcats have on their team. He poses great inside ability and can also hit the jumper from the outside.

American F, Brian Gilmore: Well Gilmore isn't a comeback player of the year, or a player of real significance to the league but he is the second highest scorer on the team. He averages 12.4 PPG, and 5.4 rebounds per game. He is in a way just like Cunningham, each one of them leads the team in points and rebounds.

Who would I take?

Villanova F, Dwayne Anderson/Shane Clark: I'm combining Clark and Anderson together because they have shared playing time this year at the other F position. Anderson was the one who hit the clutch shot in Marquette game Anderson has had a good five RPG and eight PPG and Clark with 5.4 PPG and 3.8 RPG.

American F, Jordan Nichols: Nichols has not been a big time scorer for them but he has been a good re-bounder and their best shot blocker. He averages 5.2 PPG and just as many rebounds.

Who would I take? It's tough but I think I'll go with Nichols

Villanova G, Scottie Reynolds: If their is a team leader to this team it is Scottie Reynolds. He is always their if they need a spark to get them through the rest of the game. He averages 15.5 PPG but can usually put up 20 in a big game. The only time when Scottie has let me down was against Louisville but I can't see him doing it again.

American G, Derrick Mercer: As I said earlier Mercer is the Patriot League player of the year. And don't get me wrong I think he is good but I do not think he should have ever won this award. Regardless, Mercer averages 11.5 PPG and 4.3 RPG. He is third on his team in points and fourth on his team in rebounds.

Who would I take? Scottie

Villanova G, Corey Stokes: Stokes has been a solid shooter and he will only get better as a Sophomore. He leads the team in three-point shooting and averages 9.7 PPG.

American G, Garrison Carr: If anyone on this team Garrison Carr is most deserving of the Patriot League player of the year award. He averages 17.8 PPG which is good enough to lead the team. He also is the teams three point man.

Who would I take? Carr.

Villanova G, Corey Fisher: Fisher is another sophomore who can only get better as he gets older. Averaging 10.8 PPG is good enough to only be behind senors Scottie Reynolds and Dante Cunningham. He will be the leader of this team in years to come.

American G, Frank Borden: For somebody who has started every game this year Borden 's stats are a little disappointing to me. He only averages 3.5 PPG and 3 RPG.

Who would I take? Fisher. No doubt.

Now that I have broken down each position it is time for me to tell you who I have.

Who ya got?

Villanova and there is no doubt about it. I love the Wildcats coming into this game. They are mentally tough and they have learned alot playing tough teams in the Big East.

With this game being played in Philadelphia it gives them a huge advantage that I do not think American can overcome. They could go very far in the Tournament this year if they avoid dumb mistakes.


    4-Star PF Mason Gillis Commits to Purdue

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    4-Star PF Mason Gillis Commits to Purdue

    Nathan Baird
    via Journal & Courier

    Ayton, Doncic Early Leaders for ROY

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Ayton, Doncic Early Leaders for ROY

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    MPJ's Status for Next Season Unclear

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    MPJ's Status for Next Season Unclear

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    Top Undrafted Players from the NBA Draft

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Top Undrafted Players from the NBA Draft

    Jonathan Wasserman
    via Bleacher Report