Villanova Men's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Villanova Wildcats

Big East (30-4, 14-4)

Villanova heads into the 2018 NCAA Tournament hoping to do better than last year when they were upset by Wisconsin in the second round. The Wildcats did not cruise through the Big East without problems though. There were some close games and some tough losses, including a 79-75 home defeat to previously winless in conference play St. John’s.
Big Wins: 11/23 vs Tennessee (85-76), 12/5 vs Gonzaga (88-72), 2/17 at Xavier (95-79)
Bad Losses: 12/30 at Butler (93-101), 2/7 St. John’s (75-79), 2/14 at Providence (71-76)
Coach: Jay Wright
Why They Can Surprise:
This team can shoot the basketball. There are five prolific three-point shooters and all of them shoot at 39.0 percent from beyond the arc. That is an amazing number. Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges are the best overall scorers on the team. Brunson averages 19.4 points per game and connects on 41.3 percent of his long range attempts. Bridges added 18.0 points per game, while shooting 43.3 percent from beyond the arc. Donte DiVincenzo and Phil Booth are also prolific scoring guards who can knock down plenty of three-pointers. Omari Spellman does most of his scoring in the paint, but the 6-9 freshman is very efficient when he opts to shoot from outside. On the year, he is hitting 44.2 percent of his three-point attempts and he can certainly help stretch the defense and take opposing big men out of their comfort zone on the defensive end.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Like any team that takes so many three-pointers, Villanova is vulnerable. If the shots are not falling, the Wildcats could be in trouble. However, with so many proven perimeter shooters, it is very unlikely that the entire team will have a cold shooting night. Lack of frontcourt depth has also hurt this team. When they lost to St. John’s, Eric Paschall was out with an injury and Villanova lost the rebounding battle. The team also shot just 24.2 percent from three-point land during that contest and that is what it takes to lose to a team like St. John’s. Villanova can shoot better than that, have a big man get in foul trouble and lose in the NCAA Tournament to a team much better than the Red Storm.
Probable Starters:
Jalen Brunson, Junior, Guard, 19.4 ppg, 4.7 apg
Phil Booth, Junior, Guard, 10.9 ppg, 2.8 apg
Mikal Bridges, Junior, Guard, 18.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.1 bpg
Eric Paschall, Junior, Forward, 10.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.3 apg
Omari Spellman, Freshman, Forward, 10.7 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.5 bpg
Key Role Players:
Donte DiVincenzo, Sophomore, Guard, 13.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.4 apg
Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, Freshman, Forward, 3.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg
Collin Gillespie, Freshman, Guard, 4.5 ppg, 1.1 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 87.2 (1st in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 71.2 (144, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 50.6 (5, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.5 (157, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 11.3 (4, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.5 (25, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 76.8 (26, 5)
Rebound Margin: 2.3 (100, 5)
Assists Per Game: 16.9 (17, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.4 (12, 1)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2017    NCAA Round of 64 win over Mount St. Mary's
2017    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Wisconsin
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
*all team stats through 3/4