Thursday, March 19, 2009

#3 Villanova/#14 American - "American's Got Talent" - How American Could Pull Off the Upset

To the Villanova Wildcat faithful-

In this, my final post before the 7:20 PM tip-off, I'll address some of the intangibles that could fuel what would be the most significant upset of the 2009 tournament thus far... (as of the afternoon sessions, the lowest seed to win was #10 Maryland over #7 California...)

American has certain advantages that most low seeds don't have... in summary-

  • Geographical proximity to the site - while they will certainly be vastly outnumbered by Villanova fans, AU's short distance from Philadelphia means that AU will be bringing a large crowd with them...
  • Tournament seasoning - The team has six seniors in its rotation, and nearly every key player in the rotation played against #2 Tennessee in last year's NCAA tournament.
  • Experience - it's unusual for a team - at any level -to have six seniors that play regularly, and that's a big plus for them...
Then, of course, there is the eternal enemy for any high-seeded team -
  • Underestimating the formidability of the opponent. Obviously, although we fans (and the coaching staff, although they weren't here at the time) remember the Old Dominion catastrophe from 14 years ago, it does not rank at all in the minds of the players, given how distant it was. However, I think that underestimation of a low-seeded team is less likely for Villanova than for other teams, given that Jay Wright's record in the first round is strong (the only loss coming in a #8-#9 game to Kentucky in 2007).
I will be posting a preliminary recap, immediately after the game ends... but please check back for the full recap, which will be written as quickly as possible (in between scouting the #6 UCLA/#11 Virginia Commonwealth contest, which will - hopefully - feature Villanova's second round opponent on Saturday...)

Go Wildcats! Ground the Eagles!

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