Saturday, March 28, 2009

VILLANOVA RETURNS TO FINAL FOUR!!!! REYNOLDS WINS IT FOR WILDCATS!!!

To the Villanova Wildcats faithful!!!-

The Villanova Wildcats defeated the Pittsburgh Panthers to reach the Final Four for the first time in 24 years!!!! Scottie Reynolds lays it in with 0.5 seconds left, to win it!!!!

MORE TO COME!!! GO WILDCATS!!!!!!!!!!

Update:

The Villanova Wildcats continue to astound, amaze, and astonish...

The third-seeded Wildcats upset top-seeded Pittsburgh, 78-76, on Saturday, catapulting the school into its fourth-ever Final Four and its first Final Four in 24 years, since the 1985 miracle run, that culminated in the victory over Georgetown...

The Wildcats relied on a balanced attack that saw four players - including the three senior starters - reach double figures:
  • Dwayne Anderson (17 points, six rebounds, four steals)
  • Scottie Reynolds (15 points, two rebounds, 7-7 FTs)
  • Dante Cunningham (14 points, five rebounds)
  • Shane Clark (11 points, four rebounds)
Of course, the play for which this game will be rightly remembered was Reynolds' coast-to-coast floating shot that dropped in with 0.5 seconds remaining, breaking the 76-all tie... and which is discussed in more detail in A Shot To Be Remembered Forever: Reynolds Takes His Place Among Villanova Legends ... and CBS's "One Shining Moment" Comes Early....

The Wildcats had jumped out to an early 22-12 lead, before a determined run by Pittsburgh gave the Panthers a 34-32 lead at halftime... After building a 54-49 lead with less than 12 minutes to play, the score seesawed back and forth, with Pitt taking leads of 63-61 and 67-63, prior to the heart-stopping finishing act...

With the victory, Villanova adds 2009 to its previous Final Four appearances in 1939 (the first-ever Final Four), 1971, and 1985. The Wildcats, as a #3 seed, are the lowest remaining seed in the tournament, as fellow #3 seed Missouri was eliminated by #1 Connecticut earlier in the evening... Villanova's sole national championship came in 1985, while a #8 seed... Former coach Rollie Massimino was prominently in attendance in Boston; Jay Wright had served as an assistant while Massimino was on the Main Line... (ironically, so was former Georgetown coach John Thompson, doing radio for the game..)

It ensured that not all four #1 seeds return to the Final Four, which had never happened in the 1985-and-beyond 64/65-team field until 2008... the two other remaining #1 seeds, North Carolina and Louisville, may still reach the Final Four with wins later Sunday...

The Wildcats, champions of the East Region, will face either top seed North Carolina or #2 seed Oklahoma, the winner of the South Region, on Saturday, April 4... The Tar Heels and Sooners clash later on Sunday... Villanova was eliminated from the 2005 tournament in the Sweet 16 by North Carolina, which eventually won the tournament... Reynolds nearly attended Oklahoma, and wound up at Villanova after then-coach Kelvin Sampson opted to leave Oklahoma for Indiana...

Villanova has now won 15 games in the NCAA tournament as the lower seed, the most of any school - five in 1985 alone and two more this year... and possibly two more...

Check back for more - much, much, more...

You can also take a look at the other Villanova blogs included in Various Viewpoints on the right sidebar, for their takes...

Go Wildcats! Next Stop - Detroit!

There are two ways you can contact Villanova Viewpoint. One is by commenting on this blog. Comments are encouraged. Also, you can e-mail villanova.viewpoint@yahoo.com (Important note: This is a different e-mail address than before. Please use this new one.)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a tourney run for the ages. Enjoy the ride as long as it lasts. Can it last another two games? Who am I to say it can't?

Three marvelous, memorable and gutsy performances in a row. I was worried about Pitt and this game could have gone either way.

We won this one in the paint. We earned a 33-28 edge in rebounds (against a team with a +9 rebound edge all season long) and 21 of 22 at the charity stripe. Richly and hard earned points, every one.

Great, great, great and courageous performances from our kids across the board.

Seamus

Villanova Viewpoint Publisher said...

Hello, Seamus-

It really is one for the ages. It can last another two games... First time since 1985...

It's really something.... I still can't believe it... it hasn't fully sunk in...

It's a remarkable thing, to actually see history being made and a game that will be talked about forever...

You're right - 21/22 from the line - an amazing performance...

Congratulations to Jay Wright and the Wildcats - a tremendous accomplishment...

Go Wildcats! Next stop, Detroit!

Anonymous said...

Craig:

This run has wakened the echoes of 1985. I see the PDN is running just about every story from the 'Cats' games in the '85 tourney; "Hoops" Wise has played the '85-2009 theme the New York Daily News; and John Feinstein has done the same in the Washington Post, focusing on the Rollie-Jay connection.

This is third time one of these NCAA runs has made me feel a part of something bigger than myself ('71, '85, and 2009). As you say, it's a remarkable experience.

These kids will live in our hearts forever, just the way Inglesby, Porter, Pinckney and Maclain and McLain do. We'll remember them all. We'll even remember the odd name, Tchuisi, and the four points from the Cameroonian player who spoke six languages. Of course we'll recall Scottie's game winner, although we'll probably forget which player Pat Chambers kissed. But we'll never forget the kiss (or the play that produced it) because it summed up so much about the powerful bonds holding this team together.

As you say, it's wonderful.

Can we make it to the final? Who cares? This team has been a triumph already. In molding it, Jay has put together his own shining example of what college sports at its best can be and what it teaches.

Seamus

richmond said...

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