NCAA preview: Villanova WildcatsPosted by rtmsf on March 18th, 2009
Villanova (#3, East, Philadelphia pod)
vs. American (#14)
Mar. 19 @ 7:20pm
Vegas Line: -17
Thanks to Vegas Watch for providing these graphs that measure the moving average of a team’s spread (moving avg.) over time vs. the spread for each individual game (indiv). If a team’s moving average is higher than zero, then Vegas currently has a higher opinion of them than Pomeroy, and vice versa.
Location: Villanova, Pa.
Conference: Big East, at-large
Coach: Jay Wright, 8th season (174-90)
08-09 Record: 26-7 overall, 13-5 conference
Last 12 Games: 9-3
Best Win: 67-57, Pittsburgh, Jan. 28
Worst Loss: 67-58, Texas, Dec. 9
Off. Efficiency Rating: 114.0; 26
Def. Efficiency Rating: 91.2; 25
Nuts n Bolts
Star Player(s): Scottie Reynolds (15.5 ppg, 3.6 apg, .810 FTP), Dante Cunningham (16.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg, .529 FGP)
Unsung Hero: Corey Stokes (9.7 ppg, .434 3-point percentage)
Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): Cunningham, late 2nd round
Key Injuries: None
Depth: 29.2% mins
Achilles Heel: Playing against size. Cunningham is having a tremendous year, but at 6-8 he’s not a legit center.
Will Make a Deep Run if…: Reynolds rises to the occasion. ‘Nova has a few different guys who can score, but this tournament is all about veteran guards. And in that department, Reynolds is one of the best.
Will Make an Early Exit if…: They play a slow, plodding game and don’t establish Cunningham.
Last Year Invited: 2008, Sweet 16
Streak: 5 years
Best NCAA Finish: 1985, national champions
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): +0.29 wins per appearance
Six Degrees to Detroit: Villanova star guard Scottie Reynolds committed and then decommitted to Oklahoma, Jeff Capel is the coach at Oklahoma, Jeff Capel played for Duke, where he played against Rasheed Wallace, who currently plays for Detroit.
Distance to First Round Site: A whopping 16 miles.
School’s Claim to Fame: Their stunning win over goliath Georgetown in the 1985 national championship game when they shot nearly 80 percent from the floor. To this day, the Wildcats remain the lowest seed (No. 8) to ever win the whole thing.
School Wishes It Could Forget: Starting guard Gary McLain’s ensuing admission that he did cocaine during the aforementioned championship run.
Prediction: With Wright and this core of players, it’s hard to imagine Villanova not returning to the Sweet 16. But the Wildcats will need some good fortune to make it all the way to Detroit.
Major RTC stories: RTC will provide
Preview written by… Dave Zeitlin