Jay Wright and the Villanova Wildcats have seemingly finally gotten the monkey off their back.
After failing to make it out of the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament in each of their last five trips, the Wildcats now find themselves in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2009. They’ve gotten there in impressive fashion too winning by 30 and 19 points against UNC-Asheville and Iowa respectively.
The road won’t get any easier for Coach Wright’s crew as they now face a match-up with 3-seeded Miami in Louisville on Thursday night. Despite their early tournament success, some are still skeptical of this Villanova squad.
“I wouldn’t get too over the skis about Villanova’s performance to date because Iowa really, I watched five minutes of that game and knew where it was going,” said Big Ten analyst and Sporting News college basketball writer Michael DeCourcy on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “They were not there to play that day. That was common for them over the course of the last month. They just lost touch with what made them special and so it was a big advantage for Villanova. I watched Miami in their press conference today, I thought they seemed like they have a really good mentality, I think they’re really comfortable here. This is an opportunity that Angel Rodriguez hasn’t really had, to get to this level and play. I think he’s really excited about it.”
Miami is similar to the Wildcats in that they are a senior laden group, with three particularly experienced guards in Rodriguez, Davon Reed, and Sheldon McClellan. However, that is where the similarities end as the two teams run vastly different styles.
“Both teams, both Miami and Villanova are really, really well coached teams, and know exactly how they want to play. It’s kind of a clash of styles, more half-court constricted for Miami, Villanova likes to spread you out and get you guarding on the perimeter. Then they try to get by you. I’m just happy to be here in Louisville and really excited to get a chance to see it.”
The Wildcats and Hurricanes get the Sweet 16 coverage kicked off tonight at 7 pm ET on CBS.