Villanova Backs In to NCAA Tournament

Villanova Backs In to NCAA Tournament
March 17, 2008, 6:02 am

Just one week ago, the prospects of Philadelphia having even one team in the NCAA mens basketball tournament looked slim. Thanks to a reasonably tough schedule and possibly thanks to some sympathy from the selection committee, Villanova joined Atlantic 10 teams Temple and St. Joseph's in the Big Dance. Villanova earned a 12 seed in the Midwest portion of the bracket and will face 5 seed Clemson on Friday night. Here's what the Philadelphia Inquirer has to say:

In the end, the selection committee considered victories over
Connecticut, Pittsburgh and West Virginia and a 7-4 mark down the
stretch to cancel out losses to Rutgers and DePaul. Plus, as Wright
pointed out, the Wildcats defeated the champions of the A-10 (Temple),
Big East (Pitt) and Colonial (George Mason).

Also, don't forget the Villanova-Georgetown game during the regular season with the phantom foul on Hoya guard Jonathan Wallace by Nova frosh Corey Stokes. The selection committee would never admit it, but they certainly take these things into account when they place teams. Villanova had two 'quality losses' during the season, including the last second loss to NC State in the Old Spice Classic in December on another specious foul. Perhaps Virginia Tech needed a couple more 'quality losses' and it would have been the Hokies and not the Wildcats with that final at-large berth.

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