Villanova Wildcats

Instant Replay: No. 8 Wisconsin ends No. 1 Villanova's bid to repeat

Instant Replay: No. 8 Wisconsin ends No. 1 Villanova's bid to repeat

Printable bracket with game times

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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Nigel Hayes' driving layup with 11 seconds gave Wisconsin a 65-62 win over top-ranked and top-seeded Villanova at KeyBank Center, ending the Wildcats' bid to repeat as national champions.

Villanova led by seven at 57-50 with five minutes left, but Wisconsin outscored the Wildcats, 15-5, the rest of the way, limiting Villanova to just one basket during that stretch.

After Hayes put the Badgers ahead, Josh Hart drove the lane with a chance to tie the score, but he was tied up in the paint and lost the ball with four seconds left.

Villanova fouled Wisconsin's Vitto Brown, who hit the first of two foul shots, and Villanova wasn't able to control the rebound until it was too late to put together a potential game-tying three.

Hart finished his brilliant Villanova career with 19 points, freshman Donte DiVincenzo added 15 points and five rebounds and sophomore Jalen Brunson added 11 points, all in the second half.

But they just didn't get enough help, and Villanova's season-long depth issues were glaring against a Wisconsin team that won 26 games this year, was ranked as high as seventh during the season and goes 10 players deep.

Kris Jenkins, the sharp-shooting hero of last year's NCAA Championship Game, continued to struggle, going 2 for 9 from the field and 0 for 2 from range. He was 0 for 8 from three in Villanova's two tournament games and 2 of 19 in the last four games.

Jenkins, Darryl Reynolds and Mikal Bridges, three Villanova starters, combined for just eight points.

What it means
Villanova became the 24th team in the last 25 years to fail to repeat as national champions. Since 1993, only Florida in 2006 and 2007 has won back-to-back national titles.

Villanova also lost for the fourth time in eight years as a No. 1 or No. 2 seed to an opponent seeded No. 7 or lower.

They also lost as a No. 2 seed in 2010 to No. 10 St. Mary's, they lost as a No. 2 seed in 2014 to No. 7 seed UConn -- the eventual national champion -- and they lost as a No. 1 seed in 2015 to No. 8 seed North Carolina State.

Since 2010, No. 1 or 2 seeds are 113-24 vs. teams seeded No. 7 or lower, with Villanova responsible for four of those 24 losses.

Wisconsin improved to 27-9 and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fourth straight year, fifth time in the last six years and 10th time in the last 18 years.

Stat of the day
These two NCAA games mark the first time Jenkins has failed to hit at least one three-pointer in consecutive games since December 2015 when he was 0 for 4 vs. Delaware and 0 for 2 vs. Penn.

Turning point 
Bronson Koenig hit two deep right-corner threes a minute apart to get Wisconsin back in the game after they trailed by seven with 5:06 to go.

By the numbers
Villanova was just 5 for 16 from three and 1 for 5 in the second half. … For Wisconsin, Koenig, playing much of the game with four fouls, finished with 17 points. Hayes added 19 points and eight rebounds while Ethan Happ added 12 points and eight boards. … Villanova shot 54 percent in the second half but missed three foul shots in the final three minutes.

What's next
Wisconsin advanced to the Sweet 16 and will play East Region semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York on Friday against the winner of a game later Saturday between Florida and Virginia.

This is Wisconsin's 10th trip to the Sweet 16 -- all in the last 17 years. It's the Badgers' fourth straight Sweet 16 and sixth in the last seven years.

Villanova obliterates Lafayette behind Zach Bednarczyk

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Villanova obliterates Lafayette behind Zach Bednarczyk

Zach Bednarczyk threw for two scores and ran for another, Ryan Bell had a career-high five catches for 119 yards, and Villanova routed Lafayette 59-0 in its home opener on Saturday.

Villanova (2-1) scored on its first three possessions, led 49-0 at halftime after holding the Leopards to 25 total yards, and wasn't forced to punt until the fourth quarter.

Bednarczyk scored on a 4-yard keeper, then hit Bell with 4- and 37-yard TD passes. Jaquan Amos and Keeling Hunter each returned interceptions for TDs, Taurus Phillips returned a punt 64 yards for a score, and Matt Gudzak ran it in from the 2 -- all before halftime.

Bednarczyk was 13 of 15 for 237 yards passing before being replaced in the third quarter. Aaron Forbes gained 78 yards on 11 carries and Corey Russo scored on a 1-yard run.

The Wildcats outgained the Leopards (0-3) 505 to 77 in total offense and held them to minus-12 yards rushing.

Villanova vs. Lafayette: In return to FCS play, Wildcats host Lafayette in home opener


Villanova vs. Lafayette: In return to FCS play, Wildcats host Lafayette in home opener

No. 7 Villanova (1-1) vs. Lafayette (0-2)
Villanova Stadium
Saturday, 6 p.m.

Fresh off an impressive showing in a loss to city rival Temple, Villanova returns to FCS play and welcomes Lafayette for its home opener.

Here’s a closer look at the matchup:

Scouting Lafayette
Picked to finish last in the Patriot League after a 2-9 season last year, the Leopards have once again struggled out of the gate. They dropped a 31-12 decision to Monmouth in their opener before falling to Sacred Heart, 38-24, last week. The good news for Lafayette is that its freshman quarterback, Sean O’Malley, threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns in just his second career start. The Leopards are also led by a first-year coach in John Garrett, who was hired to replace longtime head man Frank Tavani, making this something of a rebuilding year for a program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2009. But they do have some players Villanova will need to keep an eye on, including all-league linebacker Brandon Bryant and tight end Dylan Wadsworth.

Scouting Villanova
After opening its season with a 38-35 win over Lehigh, Villanova had a valiant effort vs. Temple last week, rallying to tie the game before losing on a late Owls field goal, 16-13. Quarterback Zach Bednarczyk threw for 382 passing yards in the game — the team’s highest single-game total since 2005 — with receivers Ryan Bell, Taurus Phillips and Changa Hodge as his top targets. Jeff Steeb (eight tackles) and the ’Nova defense also had a big performance, although the Wildcats’ rushing attack was mostly bottled up in the loss.

Paced by two defensive touchdowns, Villanova rolled to a 31-14 victory over Lafayette last year in the first matchup between the two programs since 1920. Lafayette won that 1920 clash, as it did in 1898, 1899, 1914 and 1920. Saturday’s game marks the first time Villanova has ever hosted Lafayette.

Storyline to watch
Villanova owns a 30-4 record against Patriot League opponents since 1985, and should have little trouble improving that mark Saturday. The biggest thing to watch is how the players handle the emotions of a home opener and how well they can control the game on the ground, led by running backs Matt Gudzak and Aaron Forbes, against an overmatched opponent.

What’s at stake?
Saturday marks the final regular season non-conference game for Villanova, which will then play eight straight CAA contests. A loss would certainly be detrimental for their FCS playoff hopes but the most important part of the Wildcats’ schedule begins next week.

It would be a surprise if this one was close.

Villanova 49, Lafayette 10.