2014 NCAA Tournament Profile: Villanova Wildcats

Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Villanova Wildcats

Record: 28-4 (16-2 Big East)

RPI: 5

BPI: 7

Conference: Big East

How They Qualified: At-large

 

Season Summary

The Villanova Wildcats were below the radar to start the season. Villanova was not ranked in either the AP or the Coaches preseason polls. On Thanksgiving weekend, the Wildcats burst onto the scene with a win over Kansas on a neutral court. Villanova’s only loss in the non-conference schedule was on the road at Syracuse.

Villanova put together a gaudy record in the new-look Big East. The Wildcats defeated everyone in the conference twice besides the Creighton Blue Jays. Creighton absolutely throttled the Villanova Wildcats in both match-ups. Villanova did not get a third shot at Creighton because the Wildcats were upset by Seton Hall in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.

 

What You Need To Know

Leading Scorer: James Bell (14.5 PPG)

Leading Rebounder: James Bell and JayVaughn Pinkston (6.1 RPG)

Leading Passer: Ryan Arcidiacono (3.4 APG)

Bad Losses: Seton Hall

Good Wins: Kansas, Iowa, Providence (twice), Xavier (twice)

 

What to Expect

The Villanova Wildcats are an unusual team that starts four guards. The lone forward in the starting lineup is the 6’7″ JayVaughn Pinkston. Three Wildcats contribute equally to the scoring. James Bell, JayVaugh Pinkston and Darrun Hilliard, II all average an almost identical fourteen points per game. That kind of lineup and that kind of balance presents matchup problems for almost any opponent.

The problem for the Wildcats is that there is a blue print out there for how to beat them. It is forty minutes worth of blueprints, actually. Creighton absolutely dismantled Villanova both times they played. Not everyone has a Doug McDermott on their team, but the game plan is out there.

Based on seeding, the Villanova Wildcats have every reason to have their sights set on a trip to the Final Four. However, a team this small could run into matchup problems even against apparently inferior opponents. In addition, losing to Seton Hall in the conference tournament is certainly reason for concern.