Villanova Basketball: Wildcats' Blueprint to Peak Before Postseason

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2014

Villanova Basketball: Wildcats' Blueprint to Peak Before Postseason

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    Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

    The reality of seeing the Villanova Wildcats play in the 2014 NCAA men's basketball tournament will come true in a few weeks on Selection Sunday. 

    The Wildcats are definitely a team that can make noise in March, but they need to follow a certain blueprint to make sure they are at their peak entering the postseason.

    As we know from postseason pasts, it is not the best team that wins it all sometimes, it is the hottest team. 

    With that being said, here is a look at what the Wildcats must do in the remaining weeks of the regular season to be in perfect form when they enter the postseason.

Win Remaining Big East Games

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    Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

    Let's start with the easiest task that you will see in this map to success. 

    The Wildcats have four games left to play in the Big East and the goal for the team is to be victorious in all of those clashes. 

    Three of those four games will be at home, while the lone road game left on the docket comes on March 6 at the Cintas Center against Xavier.

    The three home games will see Villanova face Butler, Marquette and Georgetown, all of whom should be beaten handily by Jay Wright's squad. 

Continue to Improve Free-Throw Shooting

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    Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

    Free-throw shooting is a crucial part of any team's success in the postseason, which is something that could prove to be a problem for Villanova in March.

    The team currently shoots 72.4 percent from the line. While five players average over that team mark, two of them are bench contributors in Kris Jenkins and Tony Chennault.

    For the Wildcats to ensure that they don't fall into an upset early on in the NCAA tournament, they must focus on fine tuning the little things in their game for the rest of the season—free-throw shooting being a concern of the highest level at the moment.

Put on a Strong Showing at Big East Tournament

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    The Big East is not a strong conference this season, and with that in mind, the Wildcats have a chance to eliminate all doubts surrounding them with a few victories at the Big East Tournament. 

    The Wildcats will most likely be seeded second and will have to take on one of the potential bubble teams in the semifinals, if the seedings hold to form. 

    For Villanova to gain confidence heading into the Big Dance, it must take care of business in the first two rounds at Madison Square Garden before the potential showdown with Creighton.

    A win against Creighton on the third attempt would work wonders for the team's confidence and would put them in great position to make a deep run into March.

Make Sure Everyone Who Steps on the Court Knows Their Role

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    On some occasions, it is the small details that matter the most when the ballgame is on the line in the postseason.

    Role players like Chennault, Jenkins, Josh Hart and Dylan Ennis must be able to step up during crucial situations and deliver big minutes for the Wildcats in whatever department they are asked to thrive in. 

    Hart is the most likely of the quartet to raise some eyebrows in the postseason because he receives the most playing time off the bench. 

    Hart and Ennis are the more offensive-minded players to come off the pine, while Chennault is a defensive stopper. 

    Jenkins can contribute on either end of the ball and he may be the best option to be a surprise hero for the Wildcats because of that. 

    If these role players can step up with quality play at the right times, the Wildcats could turn into the most complete team in the country by season's end. 

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