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Jay Wright

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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.
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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.
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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.
SPORTS
March 11, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jay Wright could be asked about a goal for Villanova in this postseason, such as capturing a No. 1 NCAA seed or a regional final or the national championship game and his answer would be the same: "Next game," which is where he wants the focus of his team to be. Next game is in the Big East tournament for the fourth-ranked Wildcats. But their coach conceded Monday that it would be nice to walk out of Madison Square Garden Saturday night with the championship trophy and give Villanova just its second tournament title in league history.
SPORTS
March 11, 2015 | By Mike Kern, Daily News Staff Writer
VILLANOVA'S Josh Hart, who coach Jay Wright insists would start for most teams, has been named the Big East's Sixth Man of the Year. The 6-5 sophomore averaged 9.7 points and 4.4 rebounds for the nation's fourth-ranked team, which just finished the regular season 29-2. That's a program record, bettering the 28-3 from last season. The only other Villanova player to be so honored was sophomore Corey Fisher in 2008-09. The Wildcats, who have won their last 12, will next play either Seton Hall (16-14)
SPORTS
March 9, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
After Villanova saved one of its best performances of the 2014-15 regular season for last, St. John's coach Steve Lavin tried to explain what he had witnessed from an opponent that he said "has a No. 1 [NCAA tournament] seed all but locked up. " "They're playing at a high level, playing the best basketball of any team in the country. We played the best team in the country on their floor," said Lavin, who later mentioned Kentucky as "a top program" along with Villanova. The fourth-ranked Wildcats certainly looked the part Saturday before 19,161 at the Wells Fargo Center with the help of a 43-10 second-half run that resulted in a 105-68 blowout of the Red Storm, giving the Cats a program-record 29th regular-season win. Scoring 100 points in a Big East game for the first time since a 102-84 win over Marquette on Feb. 10, 2009, the Wildcats (29-2, 16-2)
SPORTS
March 8, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
It's March so the NCAA tournament questions are coming fast and furious at Jay Wright. While the Villanova coach answers them all affably, he makes it known he does not have his sights on a No. 1 seed nor a Big East tourney championship, at least not yet. Guided by Wright, the Wildcats have only one event on their radar and that comes Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center when St. John's, the conference's hottest team not named Villanova, enters with...
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