These last couples of games have been bad for Villanova. As Villanova was expected to be great and one of the best teams in the league as they started off the season very strong. When nine games went by in the regular season, they were 9-0 and 20 games into the season Villanova was 19-1. But after a couple more wins their world started to crash down and they were starting to become a head case near the end of the season. But then everyone expected them to bounce back in the Big East Tournament and in the NCAA Tournament. What is going to happen to the Villanova basketball team?
The last 10 games in the season were a disaster; the Villanova team was all over the place. The problem with Villanova is that they couldn’t beat ranked opponents; in the last 10 games there record was 5-5. That is awful especially when you play against teams that you can beat. They beat Seton Hall, West Virginia, Providence, South Florida, and Cincinnati. But they lost to Georgetown, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and West Virginia. The first game they lost was against Georgetown 103-90 in a very high scoring game. At the end of the first half, the score was 50-31 Georgetown so all ready they were way behind. The reason was because they couldn’t keep up with the fast pace game that Georgetown was making. When they lost to Connecticut it was big because Connecticut was having a bad season already. Connecticut wasn’t even ranked making the game an easy win. The game was close in the first half when the score was 36-35 Connecticut. But Connecticut pulled away in the beginning of the second half and Villanova couldn’t come back. The game against Georgetown happened against Syracuse when Syracuse let the first half by 10 and continued to win. Against West Virginia it was a different kind of story when Villanova was leading 29-16 at the half. Then West Virginia came back in the second half and tied the score at the end of regulation 60-60. It came close to the end of overtime, about 35 seconds left the game was tied but with six seconds left West Virginia scored and Villanova couldn’t win. These games were just the beginging of the head case of Villanova.
When Villanova was in the Big East Tournament, many people expected them to go into the final and show they are still a threat in the NCAA Tournament. So on March 11th when Villanova came to Madison Square Garden to play against Marquette, they were confident. They had beat Marquette twice in the regular season, making them the favorite because they have beat this Marquette team by only two points in a crucial shots. But they knew it was going to be tough because they have had tough games. But when you beat a team twice you can get confident especially when the game is on the line. This team got almost too confident making them cockier and taking their focus off the game. They lost to Marquette 80-76 and they really underestimated how good this team actually was. It’s a shame that this team with so much potentially has to go to waste because of some foolish decisions. But they shook off the lost and tried for the NCAA tournament where they got a second seed.
For the NCAA Tournament they got a second seed in the South division, which played in Houston. This division included Duke, California, Louisville, Texas A&M, Purdue, Notre Dame, and Richmond plus St. Mary’s. Villanova had to play against Robert Morris in their first game, which to many people would have been an easy First Round. But that is incorrect, Villanova struggled to find themselves and what really made them a great team. During the first half, they almost went 6 minutes without scoring. They caught up in the second half and then won closely in overtime. The problem in this game is that Villanova got so far behind in the beginning that it was hard for them to come back but some how they did come back. But they did almost lose and many people believed that Villanova could bounce back but that didn’t happen either. Now they were going to play against a much harder opponent than in their first round. St. Mary’s, who had proven themselves in the first round that they are here to win. In the first couple of minutes you know this game is going to be down to the wire because both teams kept going back and forth making baskets. With about 7 minutes to go in the first half, Villanova team started to trail by 10 points and the distance kept going all the way until the end of the half, 38-31 St. Mary’s. Villanova was playing great until they had a little head case moment. Villanova couldn’t catch up to the rolling St. Mary’s team, who never seemed to have a bad moment; they were a very consistent team. Villanova just was starting to fall apart again!
Villanova had a great start of the season but ended it on a bad note. Villanova lacked a team leader that can lead them through frustrating parts of the game. They needed someone that would give them pep talks on time-outs where they will be able to feel confident. Villanova needed self-assurance and confidence in order to win; they seemed to be almost cocky in the beginning. In the end, they were just disappointed.
By: Twins Hines