Villanova Men's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Villanova Wildcats

Big East (31-3, 15-3)

Villanova was a dominate team during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats really only had two close games on their way to the national championship, against Kansas in the Elite Eight and North Carolina in the final. Repeating as national champs is not easy to do and nobody has done it since Duke in 1991 and 1992, but this group has the potential to pull it off.
Big Wins: 11/14 at Purdue (79-76), 12/10 vs Notre Dame (74-66), 1/29 Virginia (61-59)
Bad Losses: 1/4 at Butler (58-66), 1/24 at Marquette (72-74), 2/22 Butler (66-74)
Coach: Jay Wright
Why They Can Surprise:
Villanova has plenty of proven players who have been here before. Senior Josh Hart leads the way and always fills up the stat sheet. On the year the 6-5 guard averages 18.9 points. 6.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.6 steals. He is the leader of this team. Another senior, Kris Jenkins is a 6-6 wing who can score in a variety of ways as well. At 235 pounds, Jenkins has toughness, but he is also very quick and a very difficult matchup for most opposing small forwards. Hart and Jenkins are the most dangerous three-point shooters on a team that has a lot of potential shooters. The play of Jalen Brunson has really helped Villanova remain near the top of the rankings for the entire season. The 6-3 sophomore could force up some bad shots as a freshman, but that has largely gone away in 2016-2017. On top of his 14.8 points per game, Brunson leads the team with 4.2 assists.
Why They Can Disappoint:
A couple things have to go wrong for Villanova to lose. This is a team that takes quite a few three-pointers and sometimes they just are not falling. The other potential issue is on the glass. Hart has been the most productive rebounder on the team and Darryl Reynolds is always willing to do the dirty work in the paint and that includes hitting the glass hard, but players like Mikal Bridges and Eric Paschall need to help a little more too. This is not a bad rebounding team, but when Butler snapped Villanova’s 20 game winning streak that dated back to last season, the Bulldogs outrebounded Villanova 33-24. That day Villanova was also struggling from beyond the arc and Butler pulled off the victory. Against a team with some decent big bodies who can effectively hit the glass, Villanova will need their shots to fall or their quest to earn another NCAA championship will come to an end.
Probable Starters:
Jalen Brunson, Sophomore, Guard, 14.8 ppg, 4.2 apg
Josh Hart, Senior, Guard, 18.9 ppg, 3.1 apg, 6.5 rpg, 1.6 spg
Mikal Bridges, Sophomore, Forward, 9.9 ppg, 2.0 apg, 4.5 rpg, 1.7 spg
Kris Jenkins, Senior, Forward, 13.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.0 apg
Darryl Reynolds, Senior, Forward, 4.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Key Role Players:
Donte DiVincenzo, Freshman, Guard, 8.3 ppg, 1.7 apg
Eric Paschall, Sophomore, Forward, 7.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 77.5 (81st in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.1 (20, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 49.6 (9, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.7 (67, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.7 (63, 3)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.8 (90, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 79.8 (2, 1)
Rebound Margin: 3.7 (71, 3)
Assists Per Game: 14.2 (130, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.2 (30, 2)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2016    NCAA Round of 64 win over UNC Asheville
2016    NCAA Round of 32 win over Iowa
2016    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Miami (FL)
2016    NCAA Regional Final win over Kansas
2016    NCAA National Semifinal win over Oklahoma
2016    NCAA National Final win over North Carolina
2015    NCAA Round of 64 win over Lafayette
2015    NCAA Round of 32 loss to North Carolina State
2014    NCAA Round of 64 win over Milwaukee
2014    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Connecticut
2013    NCAA Round of 64 loss to North Carolina
2011    NCAA Round of 64 loss to George Mason
2010    NCAA Round of 64 win over Robert Morris
2010    NCAA Round of 32 loss to St. Mary's
2009    NCAA Round of 64 win over American University
2009    NCAA Round of 32 win over UCLA
2009    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Duke
2009    NCAA Regional Final win over Pittsburgh
2009    NCAA National Semifinal loss to North Carolina
2008    NCAA Round of 64 win over Clemson
2008    NCAA Round of 32 win over Siena
2008    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Kansas  
2007    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Kentucky
*all team stats through 3/5