Look for third-seeded Villanova to open NCAA Tournament at Wachovia Center

Select group: Mike Kern, Phil Martelli, Fran Dunphy, Dick Jerardi.
Select group: Mike Kern, Phil Martelli, Fran Dunphy, Dick Jerardi.
Posted: March 09, 2009

It's not going out on a limb to project that Villanova will be a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament, or that the Wildcats will get sent all the way to South Philadelphia for the opening weekend.

And there's still a chance that neither will happen.

But our mock Selection Committee, after looking at the possibilities, went with the most likely scenario.

First, the Wildcats have done enough to warrant being a three. Which means they could also be a four, just because. We even considered them for a two, albeit briefly.

Once we knew what line we felt they deserved to be on, it was a matter of placing them in the proper spot. And we didn't see any reason why they shouldn't be rewarded by getting to stay home. North Carolina and Duke seem to end up in Raleigh and Greensboro a lot; no reason to treat Villanova any differently.

Anyway, since Pittsburgh was our top seed in the Midwest, and Connecticut No. 1 in the East, it made sense to keep Villanova out of those two regions. Since Louisville was the No. 2 in the South, it was logical to place Villanova in the only remaining bracket that didn't include one of those Big East teams.

The Wildcats, who won two NCAA games at the Wachovia Center 3 years ago, were 1-2 there this season. They lost to Louisville by one in early January, and to Georgetown by a deuce late last month. They beat Syracuse by 15 on Feb. 7. They also beat Pitt by 10 on Jan. 28 in the last college basketball game at the Spectrum. *

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