Villanova’s tournament run is over. No it’s not the Final Four or the Elite Eight, heck its not even the Sweet 16. Villanova (2) lost to St. Mary’s (10) in round two of the NCAA Tournament. This game came after an overtime game against Robert Morris (15).
Let’s just say this is not the way Villanova fans or even Big East fans expected this tournament to play out. Villanova was once on a path to get a #1 seed in the tournament, but they 6 of their last 10 games heading into the tournament and were lucky (I mean undeserving) to get a #2 seed. Then in the first round, they were lucky to get the game to overtime, after being outplayed for the entire game.
Today, they were once again lucky to be close towards the end of the game. That’s a lot of luck, so it was soon to run out.
Scottie Reynolds was 2 of 11 from the field and as a whole Villanova only shot 36% (compared to 50% for St. Mary’s). The loss hurt an enormous amount of people’s brackets. Villanova was a popular Final Four pick (I was one of them), but thinking in retrospect the signs were there that it was not meant to be. It seems to me the big name and reputation of Villanova in the best conference clouded my vision.
Of the final 6 games that they lost heading into the tournament, 5 were against teams that received at least a #6 seed in the tournament. To me this should have indicated that they struggled against the best teams in the league, and in March you need to beat the best to win the dance.
Then when Villanova benched Reynolds and Fisher to start the game against Robert Morris, I had the feeling it wasn’t going to be a good tournament for them. The NCAA Tournament is all about momentum. Villanova didn’t have very much momentum heading into the tournament and then they benched their best players to start the tournament. I understand it was for undisclosed disciplinary reasons, but I would have liked to hear more about the situation. Disciplinary problems heading into the tournament shows a lack of focus and that is how Villanova played in their brief tournament run.