Villanova and Saint Joseph’s In The Big Dance

Villanova Gets The #2 Seed In The East, Saint Joseph’s #10 In The Region; Both Start In Buffalo

All of the analysis and conjecture are over.  Saint Joseph’s did not have to worry about its tournament resume.  The Hawks became an automatic qualifier by winning the Atlantic 10 Tournament.  Villanova would find out how its early exit in the Big East Tournament would affect their seeding.  Those questions were answered on Selection Sunday.

Villanova is the number 2 seed in the Eastern Region.  Saint Joseph’s is the number 10 seed in the East.  Should both teams win on Thursday in Buffalo, NY, they will play each other again.  Saint Joseph’s Coach Phil Martelli suggested the NCAA should be petitioned to move that game to the Palestra.  However, the teams need to take care of business on Thursday, or it’s a moot point.

VillanovaThe Wildcats drew the 15th seeded Milwaukee, upset winner of the Horizon League Tournament, a team they are not familiar with.  The Blue and White look at their draw as a focus enhancer.  The seeding does not mean as much as their need to play well and focus on the game in front of them.

“It doesn’t matter to us to be a 1 or a 2 (seed),” said Villanova Coach Jay Wright.  “Our experience in this tournament is that you’re going to play great teams.  Usually the things you worry about don’t happen, and the things you don’t think of happen.  Happy to be in it, happy to have a high seed, now we have to play basketball.”

“It’s hard to look ahead,” said senior guard Tony Chennault.  “Milwaukee is a good team with really good players.  We have to take it one step at a time.  That’s what you have to do in tournaments like this.  We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.”

Saint Joseph’s starts on Thursday at the same site tipping off against the 7 Seed University of Connecticut.  The Atlantic 10 Champions knew they were going to the tournament.  The question was what seed and where.  The Hawks may not have known they were going to be close to their neighbors.

There is a certain amount of excitement generated seeing the Philadelphia schools are in close proximity.  For Villanova they find themselves in a bracket and site with old Big East foes UConn and Syracuse.

“We were seeing all of the former Big East teams that weren’t named, and Saint Joe’s who would be our next game if we win,” said Ryan Arcidiacono.  “It’s all good stuff, but we are glad to be in.”

“When you talk to the guys who played on the Villanova teams in the sixties, Saint Joe’s and Villanova used to meet all the time on their way to final eights and sweet sixteens,” said Wright.  “It’s old times all over again.”

The number 1 seeds were; Florida (South), Wichita State (Midwest), Arizona (West), and Virginia in the East.  The Cavaliers got the top seed in the East by virtue of winning the ACC regular season and tournament title.  Villanova is joined on the 2 seed line by; Kansas (South), Wisconsin (West), and Michigan (Midwest).  The other 10 seeds announced were; Stanford (South), BYU (West), and Arizona State (Midwest).

Time to play the games in the time of year we call March Madness.

Written By: Glenn Papazian


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