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March 15, 2014 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
NEW YORK - There are no moments in basketball quite like the long, slow ticks that take place while the ball floats across a suddenly silent arena and there is nothing left that can be done. The game is already decided. It just takes a while to learn the decision. "We're not going to overreact," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "I know it's a big story and it's crushing to us not to be able to keep playing in this tournament, but it happened. We'll deal with it and get it right. " The game was decided on the razor's edge of a buzzer-beating jumper by Sterling Gibbs of Seton Hall.
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March 14, 2014 | BY MIKE KERN, Daily News Staff Writer kernm@phillynews.com
THE FIRST TIME Villanova played in the Big East tournament, in 1982, it lost in the title game to host Syracuse - by three points in as many overtimes. The following year the Wildcats were the top seed. Again they got to the final, where once more they lost, this time to Georgetown by a lot. In the 3 decades since, they've made it back to the final four times. The last was 1997, which also was the last time they were the top seed. Since then, they've won more than one game in the tourney only once.
SPORTS
March 14, 2014 | BY MIKE KERN, Daily News Staff Writer kernm@phillynews.com
NEW YORK - OK, so who saw this one coming? Third-ranked Villanova, which set a program record for regular-season wins and was your top seed in the Big East Tournament for the first time since Jay Wright was finishing his third season as Hofstra's coach, drew Seton Hall yesterday afternoon in the first of four quarterfinals. The same Seton Hall the Wildcats have owned forever. And the same Seton Hall that had barely beaten Butler the night before. Apparently, none of that mattered.
SPORTS
March 14, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
Villanova basketball coach Jay Wright was named Big East coach of the year Wednesday after guiding the Wildcats to the conference's regular-season title. Wright also was Big East coach of the year in 2006 and 2009. The Wildcats (28-3) went 16-2 in the conference this season. "It's a great honor in this conference, and the fact that the coaches vote on it means a lot to us, because I have great respect for these coaches in this league," Wright said. "It is a representation of what the players did, and it always comes down to that.
SPORTS
March 14, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Whether it's diving over a courtside table, bumping heads with a teammate in a scramble for a loose ball, or getting run over while taking a charge, Ryan Arcidiacono never gives a second thought about sacrificing his body during a Villanova basketball game, no matter the score. If that means recurring trips to the hospital for stitches for the Wildcats sophomore point guard, so be it. "I dropped him off at 'Nova two years ago," said his father, Joe. "Within two weeks he calls us and says, 'Dad, I've got to go to the hospital.' He got stitches in his head.
SPORTS
March 14, 2014 | By Rich Hofmann, Daily News Columnist
NEW YORK - Nothing has changed in Jay Wright's mind. The NCAA Tournament remains wide open and he believes his team is entirely capable of winning six games. One loss, however disappointing - definition of disappointing: Seton Hall 64, Villanova 63 - has not altered his thinking. Not a bit, it seems. "I've always felt we're a good team that can go deep in the tournament," the Villanova coach said after the postgame news conference was over. "But I've also said we can get beat by anybody - and we did today.
SPORTS
March 13, 2014
VILLANOVA will be playing next season in the Legends Classic, Nov. 24 and 25 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The other teams in the field are Michigan, VCU and Oregon. Villanova (No. 3), Michigan (8) and VCU (23) are currently ranked heading into their respective conference tournaments. Each of those four also will host regional games from Nov. 16-20, which will have no bearing on the predetermined semifinalists. The rest of the field and the semifinal matchups will be announced at a later date.
SPORTS
March 13, 2014 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
The spotlighted court once again will ride amid the darkness of the arena like the gleaming deck of a great ship at sea as the basketball teams claw each other through the four days and nights, and it will all still look very much like the Big East tournament. In fact, it is the Big East tournament, and it is Madison Square Garden, and many of the usual suspects are still on hand as the league works to reestablish its place in the college basketball firmament. A year ago, eight teams would exit the Big East championship and take their places in the field of the NCAA tournament.
SPORTS
March 12, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The numbers next to Villanova's name entering Big East Conference tournament week are impressive by any standard - 1 representing the Wildcats' seeding in the event, 3 standing for their ranking in the latest Associated Press poll. But with that comes extra motivation from Villanova's opponents, starting Thursday at Madison Square Garden with either Seton Hall or Butler. To spoil Villanova's chances at its first Big East tournament championship of the 13-year Jay Wright era, not to mention removing it from a No. 1 regional seeding in the NCAAs, is their goal.
SPORTS
March 12, 2014 | BY DICK JERARDI, Daily News Staff Writer jerardd@phillynews.com
IT IS LAST-CHANCE time for Temple and La Salle, another chance for Saint Joseph's and an opportunity for Villanova to lock up a No. 1 seed. Temple (9-21) goes first in tomorrow's American Athletic Conference opening round in Memphis, Tenn. The Owls can certainly beat Central Florida, but can they beat Cincinnati in Thursday's quarterfinals, followed by wins against two from a list that likely will include Memphis, SMU, Connecticut and Louisville? Not likely, unless Sam Hinkie decides to trade them Memphis native Thaddeus Young who only used that one year of eligibility at Georgia Tech.
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