Team: Villanova University
Record: 33-4, 14-4
KenPom Rank: 1
Haslemetric Rank: 1
Leading Scorer: Jalen Brunson (6-3/190) 19.3 PPG
Leading Rebounder: Omari Spellman (6-9/245) 7.9 RPG
Leading Passer: Jalen Brunson (6-3/190) 4.6 APG
Leading Shotblocker: Omari Spellman (6-9/245) 1.5 BPG
How Villanova Got Here: The Wildcats won the Big East Tournament and was arguably the best team in the nation for pretty much the entire year. I suppose you could argue between Villanova and Virginia as being the top team, but in retrospect, I think it’s the Wildcats. They only lost 4 games all year, a road loss to Butler, a home loss to St. John’s, and then a loss to Prividence before losing to Creighton in overtime on the road. Those last three losses came in February where they sorta had a rough stretch before the Big East Tournament. In the NCAA Tournament, they dispatched of Radford and Alabama relatively easily before beating West Virginia by 6 on Friday night.
What Villanova Does Well: This is an elite team in pretty much all facets, incredibly efficient offensively, they shoot incredibly well, the best in the country and they’re 12th in the nation in turnover percentage. Defensively, they are 16th in the nation in adjusted defense and so yes, that means that Villanova is an incredibly balanced team. They also limit opponents in shooting free throws, 26th in the nation.
What Villanova Does Not Do Well: here’s your glimmer of hope, the Wildcats aren’t great at stopping opponents from crashing the board and their defense doesn’t force a ton of turnovers. That’s probably really good news for Texas Tech because that is one thing that the Red Raiders are quite good at doing and it was a big part of the offense against Purdue. Villanova also does not shoot free throws at a high rate, they’re probably essentially an outside shooting team, so they’re not accustomed to getting to the line that often.