The defending NCAA Champions will be looking to repeat this Spring, and very well could. This season, the Wildcats have shown that they are indeed a very solid team and capable of another championship. Nova has been to the big dance for the last four straight years and coach Jay Wright is determined to keep it that way.
Villanova has been a versatile, three headed monster all year. Lead by Josh Hart, Jalen Brunson, and Kris Jenkins, they have no trouble scoring the basketball. All three of these players can shoot the ball, drive the ball, and finish inside. And if you take one away, then the other two will just score 20 instead.
Experience is another strong suit of the Wildcats. Eight of their 14 players are returning from last year’s tournament run, so they have been there, and they have done that. Villanova is definitely a favorite for many reasons, but the title of ‘Defending Champions’ has a lot to do with that.
Despite their experience, Nova does not have a very deep bench. Jay Wright runs a very tight ship and frequently plays just seven players throughout an entire game. This could be a problem if they run across into a team with lots of fresh legs or get into foul trouble. In their two losses to Butler and their loss at Marquette, the Wildcats were upset by teams that played at least nine guys.
Villanova has also fared poorly against physical teams at times this season. Early in their season, they were pushed around by Purdue’s physical big men. Butler managed to win both matchups with the Wildcats by playing gritty interior defense. Often times, their stars bailed them out with big offensive performances, but they can’t stay hot forever.
Photo Credit: Villanova.com