Some Thoughts on the Villanova Loss

Photo credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

I haven’t checked my Twitter mentions or the website comments in 12 hours. I guess it’s time to take my medicine.

Tough game. Road game against a top 5 team. Most teams don’t win those games, whether you’re number one or number 25. Biggest crowd in Xavier history– tough to overcome. Foul trouble for Kris Jenkins and Daniel Ochefu doesn’t help. Ryan Arcidiacono struggled. Xavier had freshman guard Edmond Sumner, who got a concussion three minutes into the game the first time these two teams played each other this season, which Villanova won by 31. Xavier shot 50% from the field. Sometimes you win games, sometimes you lose them. I don’t think this is indicative of some greater problem for Villanova because, again, Xavier is the fifth ranked team in the country (they’ll probably be number 2 next week). It happens.

But, there are some concerns.

Villanova has lost four games this year. There was Providence, a borderline top 25 team, at home, in overtime. Fine. The others were Xavier, Oklahoma and Virginia, currently the numbers three, four and five teams in the country. That’s a problem if you want a number one seed. When it comes time to slot teams for the NCAA tournament next month, Villanova is going to need a lot of help if it wants to be seeded ahead of any of them. What’s worse is that none of those games were particularly close– all were sound wins for the opponent. I mean, there’s something to be said for a team that only loses to top 5 teams (that’s better than most in the country), but it makes it very easy to slot Nova when you’re talking about the top line on the bracket, baby.

Every Nova loss looks the same: frustrating misses, foul trouble, dominated down low. Look at Xavier in the paint:

Voila_Capture 2016-02-25_09-36-23_AM

Villanova was 16-for-31 in the same area. Worse, while both teams shot 38% from behind the arc, Villanova jacked up 31 threes to Xavier’s 18. The Arch, who dominated in the first game against Xavier, couldn’t purchase a basket last night if he brought cash, credit cards, and his Apple Pay iPhone to the court. He was the foil in this typical Nova loss trope, which finds the Cats building a house brick by frustrating brick.

By my calculations – and please note that I was not a math major at Villanova – the Cats will need a near miracle run in the NCAA Tournament to win the national championship. One off shooting night and, again, they’re done. The good news is that this may be Jay’s deepest, most well-rounded team ever, so they should be able to survive a scare from any non-top 20 team. But, it’s no coincidence that the one time they did make the Final Four under Jay, they relied on a strong inside scoring presence from Dante Cunningham and Dwayne Anderson.

That said, perspective: Villanova will remain a top 7 team and still has a real shot at a one seed if they basically run the table and beat Xavier in the Big East Tournament.

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  • Chris February 25, 2016 at 9:57 am

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha lol

    • Dan Griffoni February 25, 2016 at 10:45 am

      Yes! Nova stinks, I told ya! And I love men.

    • Archie DiAcano February 25, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      13-2 in Conference. 3-4 vs Top 25 LOL. That tells you all you need to know about how pathetic the Big East is. Villanova is 24-4, if they played in the Big 12 they would be 17-11. Fighting it out with Texas Tech for a potential 13 seed. The Big East a Joke.

  • Flaccid Frank February 25, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Who cares about this team?

    More concerning…why are you charging folks $4 for a “premium” subscription when you continually wait until 10am to provide the readers any content?

    • Sarah Baicker's Penis February 25, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      YEA! I usually take my dump at 6:45am. Leave me with nothing but the Lowe’s ad

  • DMX February 25, 2016 at 10:03 am


  • sheckler February 25, 2016 at 10:03 am

    I come to this blog for philadelphia sports, lay off the one-sided articles written about main line goobers.

  • Nova Hater February 25, 2016 at 10:05 am

    FRAUDS! Envision another #1 seed and 2nd Round loss!

  • Tom Selleck February 25, 2016 at 10:05 am

    love hearing you continuing to refer to Xavier as a “Top 5 Team”. this year may be the most parity in the top 10 or even in the top 25 in recent memory. shaping up to have another Nova 2nd round KO in a game that will look almost exactly how last night’s game looked.

  • SnydaMan February 25, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Well said Kyle, way to own it …. Now go Tar Heels

  • ESPN 30 for 30 February 25, 2016 at 10:09 am

    What if I told you…there was a shitty basketball program from an unjustifiably snobby school that plays in a public park band shell that spends all kinds of money on a coach that looks dusty and never wins anything?

  • Cuz licks Jay's Heiney Hole February 25, 2016 at 10:09 am

    AWE MAN!!

    • Siriusxm February 25, 2016 at 11:44 am

      Thanks Gargano & Cataldi for driving listeners to me.

  • The One February 25, 2016 at 10:12 am

    I called this shit. I didn’t think they would lose this game, but I knew they would lose 1 of their final 3. And now their little stretch as #1 in the country will soon be forgotten about as they calmly exit to a 12 seed in the round of 32.

  • Slowpoke Rodriguez February 25, 2016 at 10:15 am

    those kids in Africa are going to be excited when they get all those leftover “Villanova #1 in the nation(for 3 weeks)” t-shirts.

    you seem to have accepted the fact that Villanova has an extremely thin chance to be National Champions & that the inevitable classic Villanova poor shooting & no inside presence will be their down fall once again in March. I respect the acceptance of a poor prognosis.

    • Robin Ophelia February 25, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      That African kids with the tee shirt reference is sooooo fucking old, used and racist!
      Come up with something else Dickhead.
      At least they were #1 for three weeks.

      • Slowpoke Rodriguez February 26, 2016 at 2:48 pm

        oh you nova fans get so worked up…

  • Paul Jolovitz Fan Club President February 25, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Sorry Mommy and Daddy couldn’t buy you this win like they could everything else. Spoiled White douche.

    • Kyle Scott February 25, 2016 at 10:54 am

      I have ~$22k left in student loans. You want to cover that for me?

      • jessica "bomb squad" boyington February 25, 2016 at 11:25 am

        You can afford it yourself, Mr Low Six Figures,

      • Paul Jolovitz Fan Club President February 25, 2016 at 11:52 am

        Nobody told you to go to that school when you could’ve gone to Penn State or Temple and got the same education. Don’t cry to me, Nancy.

        • fake February 25, 2016 at 12:58 pm

          education at temple is not equivalent to temple,
          lets be real here

          • Slowpoke Rodriguez February 25, 2016 at 2:37 pm


          • Bomb Squad Boyington February 25, 2016 at 3:08 pm

            “education at temple is not equivalent to temple” — what are you saying, smart guy?

      • Credit Karma February 25, 2016 at 12:26 pm

        That’s not True!!

  • Bendu February 25, 2016 at 10:26 am

    I’m sorry Kyle, did I miss when Providence was a Top 5 team? Villanova didn’t only lose to teams ranked in the Top 5, they lost to an unranked Providence. They’ll be a 2 seed in the tournament if they somehow beat Xavier in the Big East Tournament, a 3 or 4 seed if they don’t.

    • knowhatyourtalkingabout February 25, 2016 at 10:48 am

      Providence was #15 or something when they lost to them, and “somehow beat” Xavier in the BE tournament? A team they beat by 31? They will easily be atleast a 2 seed, 3 at worst if they only lose 1 more.

  • Rob P February 25, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Such hate. Spot on assessment, Kyle. all Nova fans knew we weren’t #1…but definitely top 10. We are who we thought we were. Sure, it’ll take a ton of breaks to make the final 4, but why can’t us? If they had won last night, the pressure only ratchets up to insane heights. Hopefully this relaxes them a little, and they can enter the tourney nice and regular instead of shitting diamonds.

  • Phil Theecolards February 25, 2016 at 10:37 am

    They could have won the game. And Kyle is right, that was always going to be an extremely hard game to win for any team. People act like its some fucking right of passage to get a number one seed going into the tourny. I actually feel like this loss comes at a good time for Nova. Knocks em down a bit, humbles them before tourny time…now we wait to see if the inevitable 2nd round melt down occurs, or if they can find other ways to win games, when they are not hitting 65% from 3 point range. JAy Wright has to be able to find other ways to win, and he simply has not been able to to that the last decade. I am wrong here?

    • Kyle Scott February 25, 2016 at 10:56 am

      I’d say the last 6 years, not decade. What he did in 2006, 2008 (Sweet 16), and 2009 was nothing short of incredible. Since then? Eeeef.

      • Phil Theecolards February 25, 2016 at 11:49 am

        true…but you get my drift. I like Jay W. He runs a clean program, and does it the right way. But his coaching style is predictable. I hope he can bring a title back to Nova. I’m just not convinced from what i have seen over the last 6-10 years.

  • Hooter February 25, 2016 at 10:41 am


    What an atrocious tie.

  • Joe Decamara's Monologues February 25, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Face it, Nova lost to a member of the X-men who can’t even walk….

    • delco kid on oxy February 25, 2016 at 12:46 pm


  • When St. Mary's was the Nursing School February 25, 2016 at 10:58 am

    And the trolls are out!! Kyle – you knew they were waiting to pounce this morning. Tough loss, poor shooting. They are a Top 16 team, but we all knew that we were not #1 in the country. Gives them some humility going into the BE Tourney.

    Go Cats Go!

  • Shut it Down February 25, 2016 at 11:34 am

    I just think it’s sad that Nova basketball is known best for 2 things, the inevitable early bouncing from the tourney and that crying flute girl.

  • Ryan February 25, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Really with you covered the other collegiate teams in town the way you cover your beloved Villanova. Real talk: You could take this blog next-level if this was the kind of spirit and thoughtful coverage you brought to, say, Temple’s incredible football season; and following Matakevich through the draft. That’s just one example. Give it a thought.

    • Ryan February 25, 2016 at 11:55 am

      [Realize that if] you covered the other collegiate teams in town the way you cover your beloved Villanova.

  • delco kid on oxy February 25, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    everyone knew this was going to happen, Nova is a fraud. Same typical Nova team that can only shoot and do absolutely nothing else.

  • Mikey Miss February 25, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    That was a stone cold Xavier line . OUTRIGHT!!!!!!!.Watchatatchee will be at First Unitarian all the cool kids will be there.

  • Hop Devil February 25, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    I thought they played better than most recent Nova teams in that situation. Place was going bonkers the entire game. They didn’t seem to fold. Good sign.

  • Rolie's garlic breath February 25, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Choke-anova V

  • KYLE DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT NOVA'S GAMES THIS YEAR!?!? February 26, 2016 at 12:49 am

    I knew going in that you were going to just copy and paste from or maybe even be creative enough to skim through the comments section of the vuhoops comments and snag somebody’s review on the game. Then I started reading from the “concerns section”, you said “There was Providence, a borderline top 25 team, at home, in overtime. Fine.” DUDE Providence was a 16 when we played them!!!!!

    I don’t think anyone is worried about Nova’s 1 seed going into the tournament and if they get it.

    You can’t throw the Xavier loss in with Oklahoma and Virginia..

    We crushed Xavier last time we played them and this time around we lost by 7…. 7 on there HOME COURT!! Not a bad loss at all,

    I see nothing but positives from this loss, we lost by 7 with our players in foul trouble and our Defense playing terrible.

    Also if you know anything about basketball you should know it’s not just about wins and losses. It’s about quality wins against quality opponets, BPI, RPI, Home wins vs Road wins.

    Also they have won games on terrible shooting nights, you act like if they shoot poorly they are done but then compare them to 09 where they did have a strong inside game. If you have watched a game all season you would know that Ochefu and Reynolds are stepping up in a big way!!

    Villanova will remain a top 7 team!?!? I’m sorry I have never heard that in my life top 5 chief!!

    Also here is a list of the top 4 teams that are probably getting 1 seeds.

    To be honest I hope Nova gets a 2!!

  • Obsever February 27, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    I would pay to see Villanova play the Sixers.

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