Does yesterday's poor performance bode poorly for Villanova's chances at a repeat? "We know we're in for a battle".
- John Wawrow reporting from Buffalo, New York.
I don't think that 'Nova will have that type of performance, or the one we saw when they dismantled Iowa in the second round previous year.
Villanova is not still playing.
A clutch layup made from an impossible angle by Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes put the higher seed ahead and the Badgers were able to hang on when Josh Hart - a probably All-American and possible player of the year - forced a drive and layup that was blocked.
Virginia Tech was still within 74-73 when Hayes, who leads all active players with 146 career points in the tournament, scored underneath and completed a three-point play to give Wisconsin a little breathing room.
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Even if you tell yourself that you are the hunter, someone else views you as The Hunted.
After all, the Wildcats were the only No. 1 seed from a power league to lose before the Sweet 16 in the previous five tourneys.
Bewitched, bothered, bewildered ... and Badgered.
While Wisconsin kept Dario's entry looking fresh, Villanova's loss spilled a lot of red ink over many people's picks.
"Very unsafe", Villanova guard Josh Hart said in describing the big boys from the Big Ten. SC will have to play more disciplined and find others besides Thornwell to make significant contributions if they hope to move one. They responded by blowing the doors off UCLA and Duke en route to a Final Four appearance.
Donte DiVincenzo scored 21 points and NCAA Tournament top seed Villanova shook off a slow start and stumbled forward in the East region Thursday night with a 76-56 victory over No. 16 seed Mount St. Mary's.
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Mosaddek hit seven boundaries and two sixes in his 155-ball innings before being the last man to fall in the final session. Imrul Kayes made 34 before being trapped lbw by Sandakan.
Koenig sat out Wisconsin's loss at MI on February 16 to rest a left calf injury. The game was tied at 57 with 3 minutes left and then the Badgers took another small lead before being tied at 62 with 20 seconds left.
It was Hayes who had kept Wisconsin from crumbling. Jenkins and Hart are National Basketball Association bound, but in Brunson, Divincenzo and Eric Paschall, Villanova has a solid core coming back.
Koenig had been sent to the bench with 13:41 left with his fourth foul on a charge, and Kris Jenkins pumped his fist and roared with delight.
Few said they looked better in person than they did on film - and after a grinder of a win, he's certainly more familiar with Daum and the Jackrabbits than members of the NCAA selection committee whose job it was to seed them.
The Badgers lead at halftime 31-27 before Villanova took a small lead in the second half. Hart (10 points) and DiVincenzo (9) were carrying Nova as Jenkins was 1-7 shooting and Brunson missed all three of his shots from behind the arc. DiVincenzo made up for it by hitting a 3-pointer on Villanova's next possession.
"It was an interesting trip", Dunleavy said before Thursday's game against Mount St. Mary's, "but everything worked out before and after".
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But there's more to these games than the final score, and Thursday's action - a pair of 20-point wins for the 1s - might have been Exhibits 1 and 1A.