It was clear after their upset loss to Seton Hall early in the Big East tournament that Villanova relinquished their shot at a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
However, a No. 2 seed isn’t a bad consolation prize.
“It was really crazy,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said of last week’s loss CBS’s Selection Sunday show. “I hope it’s a blip. We played our best game of the year against Georgetown the last regular season game of the year, then we went into [the Seton Hall] game. … We’ve had great practices since, we’re in a great frame of mind, we are fired up about the tournament.”
The Wildcats will start their journey in Buffalo Thursday against Milwaukee, winners of the Horizon League tournament.
Though 15-seeds have shown it’s possible to upset a heavily favored second-seed, (like Florida Gulf Coast last season), the Wildcats hope they can start their NCAA tournament strong and avoid having a bad outing, like they did against the Pirates.
“In tournament play when you have one bad night shooting, if that’s what you’re relying on, it’s over,” the coach said. “You have to have a mentality that you can win, with our defensive rebounding if we don’t make shots.”
If the Wildcats prevail in their opener, they could have a familiar foe waiting in round three.
Villanova will face the winner of St. Joseph’s and UConn. In two matchups this season, the Wildcats beat the Hawks twice, by seven and three points respectively.