The call prompted the ire of not only 'Nova fans at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y., but neutral fans nationwide rooting for the lower seed. North Carolina won, 67-66, the closest call on its six-game run to the national championship.
Villanova (20-13) and the Tar Heels (24-10) will renew acquaintances Friday night at the Sprint Center in a second-round NCAA South Regional game. As in 2005, the Wildcats have a rather inexperienced team in postseason play, but Wright sees another common trait.
"I think that was our first team that went to the tournament, so everything was kind of new to them," he said. "But even though everything was new, they had a confidence about them that we really felt as coaches.
"That's the similarity. This group has a confidence level about them. Even though they probably shouldn't, they do. That's what made that team in '05 really effective and advance to the Sweet 16. That's what I think this team's great strength is, their confidence."
The 2013 Wildcats, seeded ninth in the South, may not have a future NBA player such as Randy Foye or Kyle Lowry on the '05 team. Their confidence comes from regular-season victories over Louisville, Syracuse, and Georgetown, three top-five teams. It's a belief that keeps them on more of an even keel emotionally.
In fact, after his team turned the ball over 25 times in a Big East tournament quarterfinal loss to Louisville, Wright said his players might have been a little too cool.
"I was a little concerned after the Louisville game that we weren't as crushed as I thought we should be; I know I was," he said. "But that's been the little challenge with this group. They don't get too high; they don't get low, either. Sometimes you want to see a little more fire, but I think it allows them to play big in big games and not nervous. That's just who they are."
The Tar Heels, seeded eighth, will pose problems for Villanova with their up-tempo style and their three-point shooting. They have drained 10 or more threes nine times this season and shoot 37.4 percent from the arc, while the Wildcats have allowed 10 or more threes nine times and allow opponents to shoot 36.6 percent from deep.
The Tar Heels have won eight of their last 10 with a smaller lineup but have sacrificed rebounding, losing the battle of the boards in six of their last eight.
Contact Joe Juliano at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @joejulesinq.