Saturday, April 04, 2009

Villanova Would Be Just Third School to Beat Duke, North Carolina in Same NCAA Tournament

To the Villanova Wildcats faithful-

If the Wildcats were to make it past North Carolina in the Final Four, they would become just the third school to ever defeat both Duke and North Carolina, in the same tournament. The only others to have done so, were:
  1. Denny Crum's Louisville Cardinals in 1986 (who defeated North Carolina in the Sweet 16 and Duke in the national title game);
  2. Billy Donovan's Florida Gators in 2000 (who defeated Duke in the Sweet 16 and North Carolina in the Final Four - which is exactly like what the Wildcats would achieve.)
As you can imagine, it's a very difficult feat to accomplish. Most teams don't last in the tournament long enough to face them both, and the NCAA wisely swings teams from the same conference around the brackets so that they can't meet prior to the Elite Eight (and preferably, to the Final Four). So the odds of any team having both in their region is extremely low.

In addition, for much of the NCAA tournament's history, there was only one team from any given conference, so it was impossible to face more than one team in any particular tournament....

Go Wildcats!
Beat North Carolina!

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