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Jay Wright

SPORTS
March 16, 2015 | BY MIKE KERN, Daily News Staff Writer kernm@phillynews.com
NEW YORK - Villanova has played 33 games. It has won 31 of them, which is already a program record. The Wildcats would like to win more. Last night at Madison Square Garden, they won their 14th straight, 63-61, over defending champion Providence (21-11) in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament. The winning streak ties a program record for most in a season. The difference was two free throws by junior guard Ryan Arcidiacono, the co-Big East Player of the Year, with 3.1 seconds, to go after Providence, which never led after 3-2, rallied from a 13-point deficit in the final 13 1/2 minutes.
SPORTS
March 16, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
NEW YORK - Jay Wright always liked talking about the only Villanova team to win a Big East tournament championship, knowing the 1994-95 group led by Kerry Kittles, Alvin Williams, and Jason Lawson held a special place in the annals of the Wildcats' basketball program. Twenty years later, a second Villanova team has joined the '95 group in the same history-making moment. The Wildcats jumped on Xavier right away, led by 16 points in the first half, and never allowed the Musketeers to mount a rally Saturday night.
SPORTS
March 16, 2015 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
Villanova coach Jay Wright begins every March by restating his love for the Big East tournament, the annual Madison Square Garden stroll through the history of a conference that helped transform the program into a true national player. "I like this tournament better than any other tournament," Wright said on more than one occasion this past week. "I just love being in New York, love being in the Garden. " It had been a while, but the tournament loved him back this time, and the Wildcats captured their first conference championship since 1995 with a 69-52 title-game win over Xavier on Saturday night.
SPORTS
March 15, 2015 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
NEW YORK - Villanova's road to the final game of the Big East tournament took a detour through the woods Friday night in Madison Square Garden against Providence, but it was only a detour and not a stop sign. One night after an opener against Marquette that couldn't have gone much better, the Wildcats suffered through a game in which their three-point shooting was muffled by Providence. They needed a pair of free throws with 3.1 seconds remaining that followed a coin flip of a foul call on a Ryan Arcidiacono drive to the basket.
SPORTS
March 14, 2015 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
NEW YORK - Tournament college basketball, whether at the conference or NCAA level, is all about winning when you don't play your best. Any significant run is going to last long enough to see hot hands go cold, matchups become unfavorable, and bad bounces accumulate. A year ago, Villanova lost its opening game of the Big East tournament on a day in which all those things conspired against the Wildcats. It took a buzzer-beater of a shot by Seton Hall to complete the upset, but Villanova still went home.
SPORTS
March 13, 2015 | BY MIKE KERN, Daily News Staff Writer kernm@phillynews.com
VILLANOVA'S Ryan Arcidiacono made the seven-man all-Big East first team. But he wasn't a unanimous choice, like teammate Darrun Hilliard. That didn't keep the junior from Neshaminy High from being named the conference's co-Player of the Year yesterday. He shares the honor with another point guard, Providence sophomore Kris Dunn, who was also a unanimous choice, along with teammate LaDontae Henton, the Big East's top scorer. The other Wildcats to win this award were Kerry Kittles (1995)
SPORTS
March 13, 2015 | BY MIKE KERN, Daily News Staff Writer kernm@phillynews.com
VILLANOVA WON the Big East Tournament once, 20 years ago, an anniversary celebrated Saturday when the team was honored at halftime of the final regular-season game against St. John's at the Wells Fargo Center. The Wildcats have been in the title game four other times, but not since 1997. The last time they won more than one game in New York was 2004, when they reached the semifinals as an 11 seed before losing to eventual national champion Connecticut. Last March, as the top seed, they lost to Seton Hall in the quarters.
SPORTS
March 13, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Being a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament carries some advantages. It means staying in the nicest team hotel at a subregional or regional site. It means going up against the 16th seed in the opening game; the lower seeds are 0-120 in those contests since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985. One edge that Jay Wright remembers the last time Villanova played as a No. 1 seed, in 2006, was that the Wildcats won twice at the Wachovia Center (now the Wells Fargo Center), an arena in which they played three times in the regular season.
SPORTS
March 13, 2015
NEW YORK - Barely 6 minutes into its quarterfinal game of the Big East Tournament yesterday, Villanova had built a double-digit lead over upset-minded Marquette. This was precisely the formula Jay Wright had preached to his top-seeded team beforehand, the easiest way to cut the legs from under a tired, upset-oriented team before adrenaline could do its magic. Defend the arc, where Marquette had lived the night before against Seton Hall. Rebound, make threes in transition. Gas them.
SPORTS
March 12, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Villanova's Darrun Hilliard shook his head when reminded of his comments last October at Big East media day, when he wondered aloud why the coaches who picked his team to win the regular-season championship did not vote for a Wildcat to be named player of the year. "I think it's wrong," Hilliard said that day at Madison Square Garden. "If you pick the team to win it all, that team should have the player of the year. " So isn't it fitting that when Big East officials convene Wednesday in the Garden to present the league's major award winner, the favorite to be named player of the year is Hilliard.
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