Monday, March 16, 2009

Some Thoughts on #3 Villanova/#14 American in NCAA First Round on Thursday at the Wachovia Center

To the Wildcat faithful-

Some initial thoughts on the Villanova/American pairing in the first round (and on the potential game with either UCLA or VCU in the second)...

Certainly, I think that Villanova got a very favorable draw from the Selection Committee. As a #3 seed, we were permitted to stay on our de facto home court, in the heart of our fan base. Moreover, we also drew a #6 seed in UCLA, who will have a more difficult #6/#11 game than normal, because UCLA is 3000 miles away - and Richmond, Virginia, where Virginia Commonwealth is based, is within a day's drive... and, a West Coast team is forced to fly to the East Coast and play on Thursday rather than Friday... this is pretty much everything that the basketball gods could be asked for... UCLA actually has a great deal of legitimate grievances in light of this group of four...

It is true, naturally, the Wildcats are far less formidable in the Wachovia Center, than at the Pavilion, and the record bears that out, both this season and from its opening in 1996-97. However, we would all agree that playing these supposed-neutral-court games there, is vastly preferable to playing at any of the other seven first/second round sites (as I'm sure our opponents would all agree, as well)...

It's also important not to look past American. The 1995 NCAA first-round fiasco against Old Dominion (which, ominously, was also a #3/#14 draw in the first round) is ample evidence of that fact... The Eagles have a very talented team...

A highly detailed preview on American will be along as soon as possible, but I'll be doing some more of these brief observations throughout the week...

Go Wildcats!

2 comments:

Doug said...

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY...Winning both games at the Wach Center is a MUST. Once we are dancing in the Sweet 16 there is no one that can beat us in our bracket if we play our game. We have the perfect blend of veteran leadership and fearless youth. This is the year to make it happen. Detroit or bust.

Villanova Viewpoint Publisher said...

Hello, Doug-

I would agree completely that this is a golden opportunity. We have a lot of advantages with this draw (some of them, candidly, unfair). Accordingly, it would be highly disappointing if we cannot make it to the Sweet 16, under these circumstances...

We do have a good mix of experience and youth, with our eight man rotation, and I think that we do have the capacity to beat anyone in our bracket. We have, after all, already beaten Pittsburgh once (although that doesn't necessarily make it easier to do it a second time)...