Villanova's college basketball championships
Villanova has won the NCAA DI men's basketball national championship three times:
- 1985 (defeated Georgetown, 66-64)
- 2016 (Defeated North Carolina, 77-74)
- 2018 (Defeated Michigan, 79-62)
The following is a season-by-season look at each of these championships, including stats, rosters, full-game replays and a game-by-game recap of each season.
We begin with the 1984-85 season. The Wildcats were coming off of a 1983-84 season when they went 19-12 (12-4 Big East) and earned a No. 7 seed in the NCAA tournament. Rollie Massimino's team returned its top three scorers — Ed Pinckney (15.4 ppg), Dwayne McClain (13.1 ppg) and Harold Pressley (12.6 ppg) — who led one of the greatest NCAA tournament Cinderella runs ever.
Coach: Rollie Massimino
Conference: Big East
Record: 25-10 (9-7)
Conference Finish: 4th
Conference Tournament Finish: Lost in semifinals
NCAA Tournament Seed: No. 8 seed
NCAA Tournament Region: Southeast Region
Villanova's roster turnover before the 1984-85 season
Villanova experienced very little roster turnover after the 1983-84 season. The Wildcats entered the 1984 NCAA tournament with an 18-11 record, then they entered the 1985 NCAA tournament with a 19-10 record.
Senior guard Frank Dobbs graduated after the 1984 season, when he was fourth on the team in scoring after averaging 10.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.
Villanova then enrolled freshman forward Mark Plansky, 6-7, who averaged 3.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game during the 1985 season.
Villanova's roster from the 1984-85 season
Villanova's player stats from the 1984-85 season
Scroll to the right to view the complete stats.
Villanova's AP Top 25 poll rankings from 1984-85
The 1985 NCAA tournament bracket
The 1985 NCAA tournament was the first NCAA tournament with a 64-team bracket, expanding from the 53-team field that was used in 1984. The 64-team format continued until 2001, when the tournament expanded to 65 teams and later 68 teams in 2011.
Villanova upset defending national champion Georgetown 66-64 in the national championship. The No. 8 seeded Wildcats remain the lowest seed to win the title.
This year's event is also notable in that it was the last one before the shot clock. The Final Four also had three teams from the same conference (Big East): Villanova, Georgetown and St. John's.
1985 NCAA tournament: Bracket
Villanova's complete 1984-85 schedule breakdown
Nov. 24, 1984 — Villanova 80, Vermont 56
Villanova opened the 1984-85 season on the road against Vermont, where Villanova coach Rollie Massimino played in college, and there were roughly 300 Wildcats fans in attendance as Villanova won its 1,000th game in program history. "I'm very happy it's over," said Massimino, according to the Rutland Daily Herald. "It's been a difficult situation with the alumni and so forth all here to watch us pick up number 1,000. It was especially nice for me to do it here at Vermont where I played my college basketball."
Ed Pinckney had just two shots and two points in the first half but he scored the first two baskets of the second half, by design, and finished with 15 points.
Nov. 28, 1984 — Villanova 56, Marist 51
Marist led Villanova at halftime 30-27 in front of a sellout crowd of 3,761 fans but the Wildcats switched to a box-and-one defense against Marist guard Steve Eggink in the second half. The Wildcats opened the second half on a 15-4 run and ran a "four-corner spread" offense to hold off the Red Foxes. "We didn't rebound like we should have and we didn't get out and pressure them on their shots like we should have," Rollie Massimino said, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.
Dec. 1, 1984 — Villanova 68, Temple 65
Dwayne McClain scored the game-winning basket with three seconds left after he put back teammate Harold Pressley's missed jumper. McClain finished with a game-high 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting with eight rebounds and five assists. Villanova controlled the boards 42-28 and more than a quarter of the Wildcats' made baskets were on second-chance opportunities.
Dec. 7, 1984 — Villanova 77, Monmouth 62
Rollie Massimino improved to 54-8 at the Villanova Field House but the game wasn't as lopsided as the final score suggests. Villanova led by just three, 56-53, in the final eight minutes. But the Wildcats started the game on a 16-4 run and they later mounted an 18-6 run that allowed them to beat Monmouth behind Ed Pinckney's game-high 26 points.
Dec. 15, 1984 — Villanova 80, Penn 67
Villanova scored 15 points in a row in the first half to lead 47-27 at halftime as the Wildcats downed their second Big 5 opponent in the span of three games behind Ed Pinckney and Harold Pressley scoring 19 points apiece.
Dec. 21, 1984 — Villanova 63, Drexel 55
Dec. 22, 1984 — Villanova 80, La Salle 63
Villanova faced a La Salle team that was without leading rebounder Albert Butts, while outside shooter Steve Black left the game with an injury and guard Chip Greenberg fouled out. The Wildcats never trailed. They led by five points at halftime and opened the second half on an 11-2 run. "Our game plan was to take it right to them," Rollie Massimino said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Dec. 28, 1984 — Villanova 91, BYU 61
Playing in Atlanta in the Cotton Stakes Classic, Villanova only trailed once, 6-5, before it rattled off eight points and maintained a 14-point lead. The Wildcats, after shooting better than 59 percent in the opening 20 minutes, led by as many as 41 points in the second half. Four Villanova players scored at least 15 points, led by Dwight Wilbur's 20 points.
Dec. 29, 1984 — Georgia 75, Villanova 68 (OT, first loss)
Ed Pinckney had 22 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out as Villanova lost its first game of the season to Georgia in overtime at the Omni. Pinckney fouled out just seconds after teammate Harold Pressley had fouled out, leaving the Wildcats one win short of their first 8-0 start in 20 years. "There is a lesson to be learned here," Rollie Massimino said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Jan. 2, 1985 — Villanova 82, Syracuse 70
Playing No. 5 Syracuse in its Big East opener, Villanova found itself deadlocked at 38 at halftime before pulling away in the second half. Dwayne McClain's basket gave Villanova a 61-60 lead and the Wildcats never trailed again. Ed Pinckney took just five shots but scored 13 points. "I don't want to go out there with stuff in my head that shouldn't be there," Pinckney said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. "Just like Syracuse being ranked fifth and us not being ranked at all before this game. We didn't need that to fire us up. We were ready anyway."
Jan. 5, 1985 — Villanova 70, UConn 59 (OT)
Villanova played its second overtime contest in a three-game stretch, except this time the Wildcats won after UConn's Eddie Williams tied the game at the end of regulation. Dwayne McClain scored 23 points to lead Villanova.
Jan. 7, 1985 — St. John's 76, Villanova 71
St. John's star Chris Mullin scored 20 points as the Red Storm improved to 11-1 on the season, giving Villanova its first Big East loss of the 1984-85 campaign.
Jan. 12, 1985 — Georgetown 52, Villanova 50 (OT)
Playing undefeated Georgetown (for the first of three times during the season), Villanova fell by just two points in yet another overtime game. Dwayne McClain was just 6-of-23 from the field as Georgetown center Patrick Ewing made it difficult for the Wildcats to get clean looks. Villanova held an eight-point lead but it scored just nine points in the first 15 and a half minutes of the second half, going almost 14 minutes with one field goal and committing five turnovers in a row at one point.
"Are the unbeaten Hoyas the most overpowering defensive team in the nation this year — perhaps in many years — simply because of a 7-foot shot-blocking center named Patrick Ewing?" wrote the Courier-Post's Phil Anastasia.
Jan. 15, 1985 – Villanova 85, Boston College 66
Villanova took down No. 15 Boston College behind Harold Pressley's 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting with eight rebounds as the Wildcats won their 18th game in a row in the Villanova Field House.
Jan. 19, 1985 — Villanova 86, Seton Hall 74
Villanova needed just seven minutes to build a double-digit lead and the Wildcats led by as many as 21 behind Dwayne McClain's 23 points on 9-of-10 shooting. "The score was no indication of the game," Seton Hall coach P.J. Carlesimo said, according to The Record. "Rollie [Massimino] and the Villanova coaches were very kind to us."
Jan. 23, 1985 — Villanova 65, Providence 57
Playing at the Palestra, Villanova was once again led by Dwayne McClain, who scored 18 points, including 10 in a four-minute stretch. "Notoriety never bothered me," McClain said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. "The coach knows I can play. My teammates know I can play. If I get notoriety, fine, but it's not a real major concern of mine."
Jan. 27, 1985 — Maryland 77, Villanova 74
Playing at Maryland, Villanova fell by three despite a career-high 29 points and 16 rebounds from Ed Pinckney. "If Eddie Pinckney had told me before the game that he was going to score 29 points, I would have said that we would have won," Massimino said. But Maryland's Len Bias scored 30 points, causing Maryland coach Lefty Driesell to say it was the best he'd ever seen Bias play.
Jan. 29, 1985 — Villanova 70, Pittsburgh 63
Villanova locked down on defense during a critical second-half stretch, holding Pitt scoreless for more than five and a half minutes, and the Wildcats forced the Panthers' starting guards into 13 turnovers. "We spent a lot of time working on defense Monday," Dwight Wilbur said. "I think that's the key to our whole season."
Feb. 1, 1985 — Syracuse 92, Villanova 79
Playing in Syracuse in front of the largest on-campus crowd in the Orange's history (32,520 fans), Villanova fell by 13 as six Syracuse players scored in double figures, led by Dwayne Washington's 25 points. Ed Pinckney scored 23 points but Harold Pressley was just 4-of-13 for eight points and Dwayne McClain was 4-for-10 for nine points.
Feb. 5, 1985 — Villanova 79, UConn 71
Senior Dwayne McClain spent the lead-up to Villanova's rematch with UConn watching the replay of the schools' first meeting and Villanova assistant coach Mitch Buonaguro told him to be more aggressive the second time around. McClain scored 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting as UConn played a 2-3 zone to combat the inside presence of Ed Pinckney.
Feb. 9, 1985 — St. John's 70, Villanova 68
Villanova fell to No. 1 St. John's by two points as the Johnnies set the Big East record with 11 consecutive conference victory. Villanova led 41-33 early in the second half but after Chris Mullin was held to four points on four shots in the first half, he had 17 in the second half, including 12 in the final six-plus minutes. "[Villanova is] not the best team or the most talented," St. John's coach Lou Carnesecca said, "but they are the most difficult, the way they undress you inside and the way they play defense."
Feb. 11, 1985 — Georgetown 57, Villanova 50
For just the second time all season, Villanova lost back-to-back games (both times were against St. John's and Georgetown in consecutive games). The Wildcats had now lost three out of four, but all three were against top-10 teams, including No. 1 St. John's and No. 2 Georgetown. "It's really getting frustrating," Harold Pressley said, according to the Courier-Post.
Feb. 16, 1985 — Boston College 62, Villanova 61
Villanova's slide got worse as the Wildcats blew an 11-point lead in the final 10 minutes as Boston College won on Michael Adams' layup. Villanova had beaten Boston College by 19 points earlier in the season. The Wildcats held onto the ball for the last shot but Harold Pressley's game-winning attempt was off the mark.
Feb. 19, 1985 — Villanova 47, St. Joseph's 44
Villanova's three-game losing streak and four losses in five games nearly spiraled but Dwayne McClain's buzzer-beating baseline jumper — his second of the season and fifth in two years — gave the Wildcats a much-needed victory. "This one means a little more than the others," McClain said, according to the Courier-Post.
Feb. 23, 1985 — Villanova 88, Providence 82
Led by upperclassmen Harold Pressley and Ed Pinckney, who had 25 and 21 points, respectively, Villanova built an 18-point lead, saw it dwindle to one, then held on with free throws in the final moments.
Feb. 27, 1985 — Villanova 80, Seton Hall 75
In the final game in the 52-year-old Villanova Field House, the Wildcats handed the Seton Hall Pirates their 15th-straight loss. "Villanova, which has stumbled down the stretch in some close games this season, found a way to win this one," wrote Phil Anastasia of the Courier-Post.
March 2, 1985 — Pittsburgh 85, Villanova 62
Pitt shot 59 percent in the first half and 60 percent in the second, and with 17:20 remaining, Villanova coach Rollie Massimino pulled his starters as the Panthers' lead swelled to 64-32, and the Wildcats lost by 23. "I told them [at halftime] I'd give them three more minutes to play and if they didn't play as well as I wanted them to play, they were coming out," Massimino said.
March 7, 1985 (Big East tournament) — Villanova 69, Pittsburgh 61
One game and five days after being run off the floor by Pittsburgh when Villanova coach Rollie Massimino waved the white flag and pulled his starters, the Wildcats beat the Panthers by seven in their first game in the Big East tournament. "We actually came back from Pittsburgh confident last week," Dwight Wilbur said, according to The Pittsburgh Press. "To be a good team, you have to know that you're a good team. That's how we feel every day."
March 8, 1985 (Big East tournament) — St. John's 89, Villanova 74
Villanova lost in the Big East tournament semifinals in what would prove to be its last loss of the season as the Wildcats fell to St. John's for the third time of the season. Ed Pinckney paced Villanova with 27 points and the Wildcats cut the deficit to five with 10 minutes left by scoring eight points in a row but they never got closer than that. Phil Anastasia of the Courier-Post wrote after the game that "the Wildcats, however, probably still will receive an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament."
March 15, 1985 (NCAA tournament) — No. 8 seed Villanova 51, No. 9 seed Dayton 49
Playing in a first-round NCAA tournament game on the opponent's home floor, Villanova edged Dayton 51-49 in an 8/9 game. Ed Pinckney led all scorers with 20 points and the player who was guarding him, Dayton's Jeff Zern, fouled out with more than seven minutes remaining. Villanova's biggest lead was four points, 41-37, and the Wildcats trailed 49-47 before rallying for the win.
March 17, 1985 (NCAA tournament) — No. 8 seed Villanova 59, No. 1 seed Michigan 55
Playing a nearly impenetrable zone defense and playing with quickness on offense, Villanova upset No. 1 seed Michigan after the Wolverines barely beat No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson. "They looked a little tentative on defense Friday against Fairleigh Dickinson, so we wanted to take it right at them," Dwayne McClain said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. "We were giving up about 20 pounds a player on the front line, but quickness can negate that." McClain had 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. A tough Big East schedule paid off in the form of a huge upset in March.
"I'd like to see another team who had to play the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country five times," Villanova coach Rollie Massimino said.
March 22, 1985 (NCAA tournament) — No. 8 seed Villanova 46, No. 5 seed Maryland 43
After losing by three points at Maryland in late January, Villanova got revenge in a low-scoring affair, winning by three in the Sweet 16. "They hurled bricks from the perimeter, they scratched and scraped under the boards, they played some of the ugliest basketball of the Southeast, or any other regional," wrote the New York Daily News' Filip Bondy.
Villanova's Ed Pinckney finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds, including 13 points in the second half, while holding Len Bias to eight points on 4-of-13 shooting. "Our motto all week in practice was, 'No lobs,'" Villanova coach Rollie Massimino said, according to the New York Daily News. "We had to know where Bias was all the time. Pinckney and Pressley took him when he was down low, and our wings picked him up when he was on the perimeter."
The following comes from the New York Daily News.
Despite Villanova shooting under 37 percent, the Wildcats posted a plus-11 advantage on the boards and they held the Terrapins to an 0-for-10 start from the field in the second half with three turnovers.
March 24, 1985 (NCAA tournament) — No. 8 seed Villanova 56, No. 2 seed North Carolina 44
Villanova beat No. 2 seed North Carolina by 12 points in the Elite Eight (its other five NCAA tournament wins came by a combined 18 points) for its biggest win of the tournament based on margin of victory. Ed Pinckney, Dwayne McClain and Gary McLain made true their freshman-year pact that they'd take Villanova to the Final Four. The Wildcats trailed 22-17 at halftime but blew up for 39 points in the second half on 16-for-21 shooting after shooting just 6-for-26 in the first half.
[Villanova coach Rollie Massimino] really got on us," Harold Pressley said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. "He reminded us of how hard we had worked to get here, and he said he couldn't believe we would let it all get away this easily."
After Villanova led 2-0, the Wildcats didn't lead again until the score was 27-26. "They hit 12 of 17 shots [to start the second half]," North Carolina coach Dean Smith said. "Then we had to start chasing them. That's really not the strength of this team."
March 30, 1985 (NCAA tournament) — No. 8 seed Villanova 52, No. 2 seed Memphis 45
Villanova's defense packed it in, at times triple-teaming Memphis State All-American center Keith Lee, 6-10, with guard Harold Jensen down low sometimes and center Ed Pinckney up top. It confused Memphis, and at times, even Villanova's own players. But it worked. "I couldn't figure it out," Villanova's Harold Pressley said, according to The Palm Beach Post. "I couldn't describe what kind of defenses we were in."
Memphis State was called for 23 fouls to Villanova's 13 and Lee scored just 10 points. "We played great defense down the stretch," Rollie Massimino said.
April 1, 1985 (NCAA tournament) — No. 8 seed Villanova 66, No. 1 seed Georgetown 64
After falling to Georgetown by two points, then seven, in two regular-season meetings, Villanova pulled off an improbable two-point win over the Hoyas to win the national championship. The Wildcats shot an incredible 22-of-28 from the field, 78.6 percent, forcing Georgetown to come out of its zone defense. They attempted just 10 shots in the second half and made nine of them as Villanova managed the tempo like it had all NCAA tournament in the pre-shot clock era.
"No one thought we could do it, but I did, and the players did," Villanova coach Rollie Massimino said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Wildcats held Patrick Ewing to 14 points in the final game of his college career and he scored just two points in the final 13 minutes, held without a free-throw attempt for the entire game.
Dwayne McClain made 5-of-7 shots for 17 points, while Harold Jensen was 5-for-5 for 14 points and Ed Pinckney added 16 points.
Watch the full replay of the game below ⤵️
Villanova's 2015-16 Championship season
Coach: Jay Wright
Conference: Big East
Record: 35-5 (16-2)
Conference Finish: 1st
Conference Tournament Finish: Runner-up
NCAA Tournament Seed: No. 2 seed
NCAA Tournament Region: South Region
Villanova won the first-ever 64-team NCAA tournament in 1985 as a No. 8 seed – one of the most memorable Cinderellas in tournament history. It would be 31 years until the Wildcats won their second national championship, when Jay Wright, in his 15th year at the school, orchestrated a team with a top-five offense and defense that proved to be the nation's best.
Villanova's 2016 national championship team will forever be remembered for its final play – Kris Jenkins' heroic, buzzer-beating 3-pointer that gave the Wildcats a 77-74 victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels.
A true buzzer beater to win a national championship? That's the stuff of Hollywood.
Here's everything you need to know about the 2016 Wildcats, including their roster, stats, schedule and more.
Here's Villanova's roster turnover before the 2015-16 season
In the 2014-15 season, Villanova went 33-3 — just two fewer wins and two fewer losses than in 2015-16 — as the Wildcats won the Big East regular-season title by four games, earned a No. 1 seed and lost to No. 8 seed N.C. State in its second game of the NCAA tournament.
Villanova graduated two starters from its 2015 team — leading scorer Darrun Hilliard (14.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg), pictured above, and JayVaughn Pinkston (9.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg), while guard Dylan Ennis (9.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.5 apg) transferred.
The Wildcats enrolled a three-player freshman class in 2015:
- Jalen Brunson, guard, 6-3
- Donte DiVincenzo, guard, 6-5
- Tim Delaney, forward, 6-9
Villanova's 2015-16 roster
|Mikal Bridges||Redshirt freshman||Forward||6-7||191|
Villanova's player stats from the 2015-16 season
Scroll to the right to view the complete stats.
Villanova's advanced stats, style of play
Villanova finished the 2015-16 season ranked No. 3 in offensive efficiency on kenpom.com and No. 5 defensively — a lethal combination that gave the Wildcats the No. 1 overall ranking on the site. They were great at making easy shots — ranking No. 2 nationally in 2-point percentage (57.4 percent) and second in free-throw percentage (78.2 percent). Villanova took pretty good care of the ball (16.3 percent turnover percentage, 58th nationally) and rarely had shots blocked (6.8 percent, 17th nationally).
Defensively, the Wildcats played strong interior defense (44.1 2-point percentage allowed), they forced a turnover roughly once in every five possessions (20.6 percent) and they were able to defend without fouling (30.0 percent free throw attempts/field goal attempts).
Villanova attempted a high percentage of threes (42.7 percent) and shared the ball (58.6 percent of its field goals were assisted), while it prevented its opponents from doing the same (37.4 3-point attempt percentage, 56.3 percent assist ratio).
Where Villanova was ranked in the AP Top 25 poll
The 2016 NCAA tournament bracket
Villanova won its second national championship in 2016, edging North Carolina on a 3-pointer from Kris Jenkins as time expired.
Jenkins is just the second player to end a title game on a buzzer-beater in NCAA tournament history, joining North Carolina State's Lorenzo Charles (1983). The 27-foot heave gave the Wildcats the program's second title and first since 1985 — the inaugural year of the tournament's current 64-team format.
Oklahoma and Syracuse also reached the Final Four in Houston. The Orange became the first No. 10 seed in tournament history to reach the Final Four. Overall, lower seeded teams performed well during the 2016 NCAA tournament, as double-digit seeds won 14 games.
2016 NCAA tournament: Bracket
Villanova's complete 2015-16 schedule breakdown
Nov. 13, 2015 — Villanova 91, Fairleigh Dickinson 54
With freshman Jalen Brunson taking over the starting point guard role from Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova rolled in its season opener as all five starters scored in double figures. Brunson had 12 points, four assists, two rebounds and no turnovers in his debt.
"It's one thing to make our players better and it's one thing to be a great scorer and be aggressive but to have a guy (Arcidiacono) who can do both and now to have two guys who can do both...it's pretty cool," Villanova coach Jay Wright said.
Nov. 17, 2015 — Villanova 87, Nebraska 63
Playing Nebraska in the Gavitt Tipoff Games, Villanova used a 22-0 first-half run to distance itself from the Huskers. Josh Hart scored a game-high 19 points, including three 3-pointers, along with five rebounds and four steals.
"It's really the concentration level that's demanded," Villanova coach Jay Wright said of Hart's move from reserve to starter. "For some reason, he's struggled a bit with it. But it's only the second game and he did a great job with it tonight, so let's hope that continues."
Nov. 20, 2015 — Villanova 86, East Tennessee State 51
Several Villanova players set career-highs in scoring — Kris Jenkins with 17, Phil Booth with 16 — while center Daniel Ochefu posted his third double-double in a row. But the Wildcats were most pleased with their defensive performance after holding the Buccaneers to 27 points in the first half, then 24 in the second, while East Tennessee State shot just 32 percent from the field and 18 percent from deep. "Defense is always our No. 1 priority," Jenkins said. "That's what we focus on every game. Defense first and rebounding second."
Nov. 22, 2015 — Villanova 75, Akron 56
Villanova took a seven-point lead into halftime, then ran away in the second half of the NIT Season Tip-Off as Josh Hart exploded for 27 points and nine rebounds. "They were big and long, and Josh was the guy that could draw them out and have the size and length to get to the rim against guys like that," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "If he doesn't recognize that, we're in trouble. But he did."
Nov. 26, 2015 — Villanova 59, Stanford 45
Stanford didn't exceed 23 points in either half as Villanova played lockdown defense in an ugly offensive game. The Cardinal was just 13-for-50 from the field and its starters were just 3-for-18 for a combined 11 points. Stanford out-rebounded Villanova by 20 but it didn't ultimately matter. "We played pretty good defense but couldn't rebound with them," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "It was one of those nights we couldn't make shots but hung in there defensively. Their rebounding was almost a difference maker but thank God it wasn't."
Nov. 27, 2015 — Villanova 69, Georgia Tech 52
This was another rough game offensively at times as Villanova led 30-23 at halftime. The Wildcats made eight 3-pointers but only shot 29 percent from deep — something that troubled coach Jay Wright. "We have to figure this out a little bit," Wright said. "We're not shooting well from 3. Teams are really getting out and taking away the 3-pointer from us, and they're doing a good job."
Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart led the team with 13 points apiece.
Dec. 1, 2015 — Villanova 86, Saint Joseph's 72
Playing in its first Big Five game of the season against a fellow Philadelphia team, Villanova went to Saint Joseph's, took a 10-point lead heading into halftime and held on in the second half. Both Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins scored 18 points, while Ryan Arcidiacono added 17 and redshirt freshman Mikal Bridges scored 11 off the bench.
"I know the history. I've gone to these games where teams are nationally ranked and the underdog upsets them in a Big Five game," Jay Wright said.
Dec. 7, 2015 — Oklahoma 78, Villanova 55 (first loss)
Villanova's undefeated start to the season ended after seven games as the Wildcats went to the Pearl Harbor Invitational, where they saw a six-point halftime deficit against Oklahoma turn into a blowout loss. The Sooners bombed away from deep, making 14-of-26 3-point attempts, as Isaiah Cousins and Buddy Hield made four 3-pointers apiece and Villanova went just 4-for-32 from behind the arc. No Wildcat scored more than 10 points.
"We have not started well any game this season and to do it against a team like that and to try to come from behind against a team like that, you're going to be in trouble and that's what happened," Jay Wright said.
Dec. 13, 2015 — Villanova 76, La Salle 47
Villanova scored 38 points in both halves behind Josh Hart's team-high 18 points. The Wildcats lit it up from all over the floor, making 54 percent from the field and 46 percent from deep.
"They're not shaken confidence-wise. We just learned a lot from it," Villanova coach Jay Wright said as his team was coming off of the loss to Oklahoma.
Dec. 19, 2015 — Virginia 86, Villanova 75
In a top-15 road matchup at Virginia, Villanova kept pace with the Cavaliers, trailing by just four at halftime, before Virginia exploded for 53 points in the second half. Three Virginia starters scored at least 19 points as Anthony Gill scored 22, Malcolm Brogdon had 20 and London Perrantes had 19. Kris Jenkins scored 23 but no one else scored more than 13 for Villanova.
"We have guards that can shoot the ball just as well as anybody in the country, I feel like, and we just want to go out there and prove ourselves, and I thought we did that tonight," Perrantes said.
Dec. 22, 2015 — Villanova 78, Delaware 48
After losing at Virginia, Villanova found itself in a 12-2 hole at the first timeout against Delaware. The Wildcats snapped out of their lull, scoring 47 points in the first half and taking a 21-point lead at the break. Villanova made 13 3-pointers, led by Josh Hart's 18-point, 14-rebound double-double and four 3-pointers.
Dec. 28, 2015 — Villanova 77, Penn 57
In Villanova's final tune-up before conference play, the Wildcats led 14-0 and later 30-3 as they quickly distanced themselves from the Quakers. Four of Villanova's starters scored in double figures, led by Jalen Brunson's 22 points.
Dec. 31, 2015 — Villanova 95, Xavier 64
Playing undefeated and No. 6-ranked Xavier, Villanova mounted a 20-point lead in the first half after making 15 of their first 19 attempts. The Wildcats made 13-of-25 3-point attempts, 52 percent, led by Ryan Arcidiacono's 27 points and seven 3-pointers.
Jan. 2, 2016 — Villanova 85, Creighton 71
Villanova scored at least 40 points in both halves, led by Josh Hart's 25 points on an efficient 10-of-14 shooting.
"I wish I could shoot like that every game," Hart said. "I've got to attribute that to Daniel. He got us off to a great start. They had to really key on him. Him being the great basketball player he is, he's able to make the right play with his own shot. He's a great passer out of there, hits guys on cuts, hit guys for open 3s."
Jan. 6, 2016 — Villanova 72, Seton Hall 63
Daniel Ochefu posted a monster 20-point, 18-rebound double-double, including six offensive boards, while Josh Hart also had a double-double as Villanova weathered a 4-for-22 3-point shooting performance to win by nine on the road.
Jan. 10, 2016 — Villanova 60, Butler 55
Villanova picked up another impressive road win as the Wildcats rallied from a six-point halftime deficit and scored 39 points in the second half to squeak out a win at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Josh Hart had 22 points and 11 rebounds, while the Wildcats held the Bulldogs to 35 percent shooting and 20 percent 3-point shooting.
"This game came down to defense, which is at the core of each of these teams. I love it," Wright said.
Jan. 13, 2016 — Villanova 83, Marquette 68
Villanova trailed by one after the first half, then outscored Marquette by 16 points in the second half to coast to a 15-point victory. Five Villanova players reached double figures, led by Kris Jenkins' 20 points.
"We are not playing great," Jay Wright said. "But we are playing together."
Jan. 16, 2016 — Villanova 55, Georgetown 50
Villanova won a low-scoring affair behind Ryan Arcidiacono and Josh Hart's 15-point games.
"We're not really focused on if we're undefeated or if we're 3-3 or 4-2 or anything like that," Arcidiacono said. "That just means we've come to play every single time."
Jan. 20, 2016 — Villanova 72, Seton Hall 71
In a fierce Big East contest, Villanova pulled out a one-point road win behind Ryan Arcidiacono's go-ahead layup in the final minute and Daniel Ochefu's block on the other end. Josh Hart led the team with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
"They're just big in the big games," Jay Wright said of Arcidiacono and Ochefu. "Ryan makes the big shot and Daniel makes the big block. The older guys have been there."
Jan. 24, 2016 — Providence 82, Villanova 76 (OT)
After a 7-0 start in conference play, Villanova fell at home to No. 16 Providence in overtime as Friars forward Ben Bentil scored 10 of his 31 points in OT, including crucial free throws.
"We were concentrating so much on him that we lost guys trying to stop (Kris) Dunn," Arcidiacono said.
Jan. 31, 2016 — Villanova 68, St. John's 53
Without center Daniel Ochefu, who was in concussion protocol, Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins both posted double-doubles as Villanova out-rebounded St. John's by 13.
"I was happy the second half we kind of got it going," Wildcats coach Jay Wright said of the 50 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes (14 of 28). "I thought the big key was Kris and Darryl Reynolds on the boards. That was big. Josh did a good job too. Without Daniel that was big for us."
Feb. 3, 2016 — Villanova 83, Creighton 58
Villanova bombed away from deep, making 16-of-29 3-pointers, 55 percent, as Kris Jenkins and Jalen Brunson both made four 3-pointers each.
"It's nice to be home at the Pavilion, man," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "We had been out of sync a little bit. But we just moved the ball well, made the right shots and made the extra pass tonight."
Feb. 6, 2016 — Villanova 72, Providence 60
Villanova's defense held Providence to just 19 points in the first half. Darryl Reynolds, who started in place of the injured Daniel Ochefu, posted a team-high 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Wildcats held a plus-17 advantage on the boards.
Feb. 9, 2016 — Villanova 86, DePaul 59
Villanova scored at least 40 points in both halves while DePaul didn't score more than 30 in a half as four Wildcat starters, plus reserve Darryl Reynolds, scored in double figures. Villanova had 18 assists on 28 made baskets.
"Everyone was talking yesterday about being No. 1 and we just wanted to talk about DePaul," Jay Wright said. "I really credit our two seniors, Ryan (Arcidiacono) and Daniel, for their leadership to keep our guys focused. I think we have a pretty mature team."
Feb. 13, 2016 — Villanova 73, St. John's 63
Villanova led by just one at halftime, 28-27, before putting up 45 points after halftime behind Daniel Ochefu's career-high 25 points. Ochefu's inside presence was important in a game in which the Wildcats were just 4-for-19 from deep.
Feb. 17, 2016 — Villanova 83, Temple 67
Playing against his father's alma mater, Jalen Brunson scored a career-high 25 points on 9-for-11 shooting, while Daniel Ochefu made 7-of-8 shots for 16 points and nine rebounds.
Feb. 20, 2016 — Villanova 77, Butler 67
In the first time ever the No. 1 team played at the Pavilion, top-ranked Villanova took a nine-point lead to halftime and used Josh Hart's 13 second-half points to down Butler. He finished with a game-high 22, while Kris Jenkins scored 20.
"It was just focusing on playing Villanova basketball and not focused on defining myself by scoring, (but) defining myself by rebounding, giving energy, playing defense, doing all those little things," Hart said. "When you do all those little things, everything else opens up for you."
Feb. 24, 2016 — Xavier 90, Villanova 83
Villanova suffered just its second conference loss and fourth defeat overall in a road game at No. 5 Xavier. The Musketeers shot 50 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Wildcats by nine as six players scored in double figures.
"I think this is one of best games they've played this year," Jay Wright said of Xavier. "They just played smart. They were a little bit better in each area of the game."
Feb. 27, 2016 — Villanova 89, Marquette 79
Villanova bounced back from its loss at Xavier with a 10-point road win at Marquette in which the Wildcats outscored the Golden Eagles by five in each half. Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins scored 19 points apiece and Daniel Ochefu added 18.
"Tough, tough Big East game. It would seem that we would be disappointed in how sloppy we played and the turnovers but Marquette is the best in our league at turning people over," Jay Wright said.
March 1, 2016 — Villanova 83, DePaul 62
Kris Jenkins exploded for 31 points, including eight 3-pointers, and Josh Hart added 18.
"It's something at the end of the year, we will take great pride in," Jay Wright said of Villanova clinching the No. 1 seed in the Big East tournament. "We really do take pride in the regular season. We evaluate our program by what we do in the regular season. That's how we make all our decisions."
March 5, 2016 — Villanova 84, Georgetown 71
In its regular-season finale, Villanova burst out of the gates, taking a 19-point lead into halftime. Josh Hart scored 18, Kris Jenkins had 17 and Ryan Arcidiacono added 16.
March 10, 2016 (Big East tournament) — Villanova 81, Georgetown 67
Playing Georgetown for the second game in a row, Villanova opened the 2016 Big East Tournament with another double-digit win over the Hoyas but the first half was competitive with the Wildcats holding just a 28-27 advantage through 20 minutes. They exploded for 53 points after halftime. Villanova shot a blistering 61 percent from deep (13-for-21).
March 11, 2016 (Big East tournament) — Villanova 76, Providence 68
Villanova held Providence's Ben Bentil to just three points on 1-of-5 shooting and Kris Dunn to nine points on 1-of-8 shooting, while Kris Jenkins led the way offensively with 21 points and four assists.
"We never had one guy on either one of them. We just rotated bodies and tried to help," Jay Wright said of Villanova's approach to guarding Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil. "That was the best we've ever done defensively against two great players."
March 12, 2016 (Big East tournament) — Seton Hall 69, Villanova 67
Villanova fell just short of the Big East regular season and conference tournament sweep as Seton Hall's Isaiah Whitehead scored 26 points, most notably the game-winning 3-point play in the final minute. Kris Jenkins paced the Wildcats with 23 points.
"This whole year Coach has been raving about just making winning plays and making winning plays," Whitehead said. "I really just attacked the basket. I felt I had an opportunity to score the ball. I mean, I saw Kris Jenkins coming over and I knew that he wouldn't be able to get in position fast enough for me to draw a charge. I just tried to lay it in on him."
March 18, 2016 (NCAA tournament) — No. 2 seed Villanova 86, No. 15 seed UNC-Asheville 56
Villanova had no issues with UNC-Asheville in the first round as five players reached double figures, led by Daniel Ochefu's 17 points and 10 rebounds. The Wildcats shot 57.9 percent from the field and 46 percent from three.
"Everyone's been talking about this next game coming up for the whole year, even before we got in the tournament, but it's very humbling for us to be able to get this first win," Daniel Ochefu said. "Just going forward in this game, we can't think about the shortcomings in the past years. We have to focus on the things we can take care of that will help us get this 'W' on Sunday."
March 20, 2016 (NCAA tournament) — No. 2 seed Villanova 87, No. 7 seed Iowa 68
After back-to-back seasons in which Villanova lost in the Round of 32 as a No. 1 or No. 2 seed, Villanova got past Iowa in the second round behind a balanced scoring attack with four players scoring at least 12 points. Josh Hart scored a team-high 19 points while the Wildcats shot a really high percentage once again — 59 percent from the field and 52 percent from deep.
"It was definitely a big-time sigh of relief," Ryan Arcidiacono said. "I was ecstatic that we won our game against Iowa because we know how good of a team they are. But I'm just happy for our senior class to be able to get to experience it."
March 24, 2016 (NCAA tournament) — No. 2 seed Villanova 92, No. 3 seed Miami (FL) 69
Villanova made a push for 100 points as the Wildcats made 62 percent of their shots and 66 percent from behind the arc as Kris Jenkins and Ryan Arcidiacono both scored 21 points and combined to make 9-of-13 3-pointers.
Miami (FL) shot 53 percent and 58 percent from three and still lost by 23 points.
"If any team is shooting the way we're shooting right now, they'll easily be the most dangerous team in the country," Daniel Ochefu said. "But hopefully, we'll keep shooting like that, so we can keep playing the way we are."
March 26, 2016 (NCAA tournament) — No. 2 seed Villanova 64, No. 1 seed Kansas 59
Villanova clinched its first Final Four berth since 2009 as the Wildcats took down the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks 64-59 despite its coldest-shooting performance of the NCAA tournament. Villanova shot just 40 percent from the field and 22 percent from 3-point range (4-of-18) but the Wildcats sank 18-of-19 free throws and committed just nine turnovers to edge Kansas.
"Every guy on this team is willing to do whatever it takes to win, man," Kris Jenkins said. "Everybody on this team sacrifices. But we're not satisfied. We're looking forward to our next game in Houston. This definitely is a special feeling, but like I said before, we're not satisfied."
April 2, 2016 (NCAA tournament) — No. 2 seed Villanova 95, No. 1 seed Oklahoma 51
In a rematch of a non-conference matchup that Oklahoma won by 23 points in December, Villanova lit up the scoreboard and beat the Sooners by 44 points. "That was just one of those nights," Jay Wright said. "I feel bad for Oklahoma."
Villanova shot 71 percent from the field, including 11-of-18 (61 percent) from three, while the Wildcats held Oklahoma All-American Buddy Hield to just nine points on 3-of-12 shooting. The game was close for the first half of the first half, with Oklahoma leading 17-16 through the first eight minutes but the Wildcats reached a higher level in the second half, scoring 53 points to the Sooners' 23.
April 4, 2016 (NCAA tournament) — No. 2 seed Villanova 77, No. 1 seed North Carolina 74
Villanova junior forward Kris Jenkins hit one of the greatest shots in NCAA tournament history as his trailing 3-pointer went through the rim as the buzzer sounded, giving Villanova a 77-74 win over North Carolina for the national championship. The Wildcats had trailed by five at halftime and needed a team-high 20 points off the bench from reserve guard Phil Booth, who made 6-of-7 shots from the field and all six of his free throw attempts.
"I think every shot's going in," Jenkins said, "and this one was no different."
The Wildcats weathered a 64-percent 3-point shooting performance and a plus-13 rebounding advantage by North Carolina (11-for-17), while Villanova's offense made 58 percent of its shots and 57 percent of its threes.
Final Four Most Outstanding Player Ryan Arcidiacono scored 16 points with two rebounds and two assists.
Individual player awards, honors
- 2016 NABC All-American
- 2016 First Team All-Big East
- 2016 Final Four Most Outstanding Player
- 2016 Second Team All-Big East
- 2016 Big East Honorable Mention
- 2016 Big East All-Freshman Team
Villanova players drafted into the NBA
2017 NBA Draft
- No. 30 — Josh Hart, Los Angeles Lakers (from Utah Jazz)
2018 NBA Draft
- No. 10 — Mikal Bridges, Philadelphia 76ers
- No. 17 — Donte DiVincenzo, Milwaukee Bucks
- No. 33 — Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks
2017-18 Villanova Wildcats Quick Facts
Villanova tripled its national championship total in a three-year span from 2016 to 2018. The Wildcats, who won the first 64-team NCAA tournament in 1985, added two more in 2016 and 2018. The Wildcats' 2018 championship team was one of the best offensive men's basketball teams in the past 20 seasons, and maybe ever.
Here's everything you need to know about Villanova's 2018 national championship team, including the Wildcats' roster, stats, AP Top 25 poll rankings, schedule and NCAA tournament run, complete with some video highlights from the best games and best moments.
Coach: Jay Wright
Conference: Big East
Record: 36-4 (14-4)
Conference Finish: 2nd
Conference Tournament Finish: Conference champion
NCAA Tournament Seed: No. 1 seed
NCAA Tournament Region: East Region
Villanova's roster turnover before the 2017-18 season
Villanova went 32-4 in the 2016-17 season, losing in the second round of the NCAA tournament as a No. 1 seed to No. 8 seed Wisconsin. The Wildcats lost two starters from their 2016-17 team (and 2016 national championship team) in Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins.
- Josh Hart, 6-5, guard: 18.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.9 apg, 51.0% FG, 40.4% 3P
- Kris Jenkins, 6-6, forward: 13.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.0 apg, 38.4% FG, 36.0% 3P
The Wildcats added three true freshmen and a redshirt freshman in Omari Spellman to their program for the 2017-18 season:
- Omari Spellman, 6-9, forward
- Collin Gillespie, 6-3, guard
- Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, 6-9, forward
- Jermaine Samuels, 6-7, forward
Villanova's roster from the 2017-18 season
|Jalen Brunson||Guard||Jr.||6-3||199||Lincolnshire, Ill.|
|Mikal Bridges||Guard||R-Jr.||6-7||191||Malvern, Penn.|
|Donte DiVincenzo||Guard||R-So.||6-5||200||Wilmington, Del.|
|Omari Spellman||Forward||Fr.||6-9||260||North Royalton, Ohio|
|Eric Paschall||Forward||R-Jr.||6-8||255||Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.|
|Phil Booth||Guard||R-Jr.||6-3||194||Baltimore, Md.|
|Collin Gillespie||Guard||Fr.||6-3||191||Warminster, Penn.|
|Dhamier Cosby-Roundtree||Forward||Fr.||6-9||228||Philadelphia, Penn.|
|Jermaine Samuels||Forward||Fr.||6-7||222||Franklin, Mass.|
|Tim Delaney||Forward||So.||6-8||224||Mullica Hill, N.J.|
|Denny Grace||Guard||Sr.||5-11||175||Catonsville, Md.|
|Matt Kennedy||Guard||Sr.||6-2||175||Fairfax, Va.|
|Tom Leibig||Forward||Sr.||6-4||195||Havertown, Penn.|
|Peyton Heck||Guard||Jr.||5-11||175||Wilmington, Del.|
Villanova's player stats from the 2017-18 season
Scroll to the right to view the complete stats.
Villanova's advanced stats, style of play
Villanova's offense in 2018 was one of the best in recent college basketball history. The Wildcats posted an adjusted efficiency of 127.8, per kenpom.com, which means they averaged 127.8 points for every 100 possessions. That's the second-highest mark in the history of kenpom.com, which dates back to the 2001-02 season, behind only Wisconsin 2015 (129.0).
The Wildcats had lethal accuracy from almost anywhere on the court, making 59 percent of their 2-point attempts (third nationally) and 40.1 percent of their threes (11th nationally). They had a 15 percent offensive turnover percentage, which ranked 14th nationally, and almost half of their shots on offense were threes — 47.5 percent, to be exact.
Everyone in their rotation could shoot threes. Eric Paschall, who made 35.6 percent of his shots from deep in 2018, was the worst 3-point shooter in the rotation and four of his teammates shot at least 40 percent from three.
Defensively, Villanova was great at limiting opponents' 3-point shooting, holding them to 31.7 percent from deep on the season.
Here is Villanova's scouting report from kenpom.com.
Here are Villanova's AP Top 25 poll rankings from 2017-18
The 2018 NCAA tournament bracket
The 2018 NCAA tournament was the seventh year of college basketball's current postseason format. Villanova captured the program's third national championship and second title in three years. After an early exit the season before, the Wildcats ran the table — winning six games by an average of almost 18 points while not playing a contest decided by single digits.
Villanova and Loyola Chicago were joined in San Antonio by No. 1 seed Kansas and No. 3 seed Michigan.
2018 NCAA tournament: Bracket
Villanova's complete 2017-18 schedule breakdown
Nov. 10, 2017: Villanova 75, Columbia 60
For the 15th consecutive year, Villanova won its season opener. Transfer Eric Paschall, who redshirted during Villanova's 2016 national championship season, showed the importance he'd play as a starter, leading the team in scoring with 15 points.
Nov. 14, 2017: Villanova 113, Nicholls State 77
Mikal Bridges, who was just beginning an All-American campaign, had career-highs in points (23), steals (five) and blocks (four) as Villanova set a school record with 13 blocks, including three on one possession. "That's what we should be fired up about," Bridges said. "Defensive things, not offensive."
Nov. 17, 2017: Villanova 104, Lafayette 57
Bridges wasn't done after setting multiple career-bests against Nicholls State. A few days later, he reached a new career-high with 24 points, including a school-record 6-for-6 3-point shooting. As a team, Villanova went 16-for-30 from deep.
Nov. 22, 2017: Villanova 66, Western Kentucky 58
The Wildcats led by just three points at halftime, 27-24, but they shot 63 percent after halftime to pull away from the Hilltoppers in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Nov. 23, 2017: Villanova 85, Tennessee 76
Villanova found itself in a 15-point hole in the first half of the Battle 4 Atlantis semifinals but the Wildcats scored the first 11 points of the second half and 23 of the first 25, thanks to 52 percent shooting and 12 Tennessee turnovers after halftime.
Nov. 24, 2017: Villanova 64, Northern Iowa 50
The Wildcats won their 17th consecutive game in a November tournament — a remarkable streak — as they won their fifth such tournament in a row. A late 8-0 run preserved the victory as Mikal Bridges scored 18 points and Jalen Brunson had 16.
Nov. 29, 2017: Villanova 90, Penn 62
Played against their first Big Five opponent of the season, Villanova won its 19th game in a row against the Big Five and 17th in a row by double digits. "I can't explain it, rationally, how they've done it over that stretch of time," Penn coach Steve Donahue said. "We're all motivated to reach their bar. We want to end that streak."
Dec. 2, 2017: Villanova 94, Saint Joseph's 53
In Villanova's first true road game of the season, the Wildcats won by 41. "They have a way of trying to win every possession," Saint Joseph's coach Phil Martelli said. "If our kids want to know what the top looks like, that's it." The Wildcats turned a slim, two-point lead with roughly four minutes left in the half into a 14-point lead at halftime, and they never looked back.
Dec. 5, 2017: Villanova 88, Gonzaga 72
For the third time in eight games, Mikal Bridges set a new career-high, this time it was 28 points against a big-time non-conference foe in Gonzaga. He had 16 in the second half and 5-of-9 3-pointers in the game. When Gonzaga cut the deficit to seven points, Bridges drove for a layup, hit a three, then blocked a shot that led to a Jalen Brunson basket on the other end.
Dec. 10, 2017: Villanova 77, La Salle 68
La Salle led 62-61 with less than five minutes to play, as Villanova appeared to be on the ropes. But in the words of La Salle coach John Giannini, "They don't have bad games." The Wildcats scored 16 more points, while the Explorers scored just six. Villanova made 22 more free throws than La Salle attempted (five).
Dec. 13, 2017: Villanova 87, Temple 67
Jalen Brunson scored a career-high 31 points, including 22 in the first half, while playing 38 minutes and not committing a single turnover. Teammate Omari Spellman added 27, which means Villanova's top two scorers alone combined for 58 points. Temple had 67 as a team.
Dec. 22, 2017: Villanova 95, Hofstra 71
Five Villanova players scored in double figures as the Wildcats displayed a balanced and potent attack. Omari Spellman had 19 points, Phil Booth had 17, Donte DiVincenzo had 16 and Jalen Brunson scored 14.
Dec. 27, 2017: Villanova 103, DePaul 85
Villanova made 15-oof-31 3-pointers in the Big East opener as the Wildcats cracked 100 points for the third time in the season.
Dec. 30, 2017: Butler 101, Villanova 93 (first loss)
Villanova's undefeated start to the 2017-18 season ended in its 14th game, when a road trip to Butler proved to be too much for the Wildcats. The Bulldogs made 15 3-pointers (on just 22 attempts), as Kelan Martin scored 24 points and Paul Jorgensen tacked on a career-high 23. Butler shot 60 percent from the field, pulling off a Villanova-esque offensive performance against Villanova.
Jan. 6, 2018: Villanova 100, Marquette 90
Jalen Brunson put on a National Player of the Year-type performance with 27 points and eight assists as the Wildcats bounced back from their first loss of the season.
Jan. 10, 2018: Villanova 89, Xavier 65
Hosting a top-10 Xavier team, Villanova played like the No. 1 team in the country, blowing the Musketeers out by 24, led by Phil Booth's 21 points and five 3-pointers. The Wildcats' defense held Xavier's top two scorers, Trevon Bluiett and J.P. Macura, to just 16 points combined.
Jan. 13, 2018: Villanova 78, St. John's 71
Donte DiVincenzo scored 25 points as Villanova dropped St. John's to 0-6 in Big East play.
Jan. 17, 2018: Villanova 88, Georgetown 56
In Patrick Ewing's first Villanova-Georgetown game as a head coach, the Wildcats led by as many as 44 points thanks to a 17-of-33 3-point shooting performance.
Jan. 20, 2018: Villanova 81, UConn 61
In a late January non-conference game, Villanova finished its non-league slate undefeated behind 23 points from Jalen Brunson and 17 from Donte DiVincenzo. Despite starting 2-of-13 from the field, the Wildcats rolled.
Jan. 23, 2018: Villanova 89, Providence 69
Six Villanova players scored at least 10 points, led by Eric Paschall with 17 points, Omari Spellman with 16 and Jalen Brunson with 15.
Jan. 28, 2018: Villanova 85, Marquette 82
A year after Villanova had fallen on the road at Marquette as the country's No. 1 team, the Wildcats avoided a similar fate as Jalen Brunson scored 31 and Donte DiVincenzo added 23 points after starting.
Feb. 1, 2018: Villanova 98, Creighton 78
The Wildcats fell two points shy of reaching the century mark as they tied a program record with 19 3-pointers. Mikal Bridges led the team with 21 points, while Jalen Brunson had 19.
Feb. 4, 2018: Villanova 92, Seton Hall 76
Led by Omari Spellman's 26-point, 11-rebound double-double, Villanova lit up the city of Philadelphia hours before the Eagles played in the Super Bowl.
#MarchMadness365 PODCAST: Re-live these 4 classic March Madness moments
Feb. 7, 2018: St. John's 79, Villanova 75
St. John's got its first conference win of the season over the No. 1 team in the country — a surprising result sparked by Shamorie Ponds' 26 points, just days after the Red Storm knocked off No. 4 Duke. The Wildcats' latest winning streak ended after nine game.
Feb. 10, 2018: Villanova 86, Butler 75
The Wildcats prevented a season sweep against Butler thanks to Donte DiVincenzo's career-high 30 points, while Jalen Brunson had 27 and Omari Spellman contributed a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double.
Feb. 14, 2018: Providence 76, Villanova 71
For the second time in three games, Villanova lost — a surprising development for a team that started the season 22-1. Collin Gillespie trimmed the deficit to three points with 29 seconds left but Kyron Cartwright pushed the lead back to four with a free throw and the Friars held off the Wildcats. "They were just really physical," Jalen Brunson said. "We were giving up the ball. You gotta be strong with the ball."
Feb. 17, 2018: Villanova 95, Xavier 79
The Wildcats prevented two losses in three games from turning into three losses in four games thanks to a hot-shooting performance on the road as the Wildcats came out roaring, hitting 61 percent of their shots in the first half, including 11 made threes on 58 percent shooting from deep. They finished 16-for-34.
Feb. 21, 2018: Villanova 93, DePaul 62
The Wildcats earned their 16th-consecutive win over DePaul as Mikal Bridges went off for 27, while Eric Paschall had 16, Phil Booth had 14 in his return from injury and Jalen Brunson added 11.
Feb. 24, 2018: Creighton 89, Villanova 83 (OT)
After beating Creighton by 20 points in Philadelphia earlier in the season, the Bluejays got their revenge in Omaha, where Marcus Foster scored 28 points to fuel Creighton to victory. Creighton's Khyri Thomas made five threes in a row in the first half. It was one of those days when everything went right for the Bluejays.
Feb. 28, 2018: Villanova 69, Seton Hall 68 (OT)
The Wildcats played in their second overtime game in a row but didn't drop back-to-back games as they got a road win at Seton Hall behind Mikal Bridges' 23 points. "It wasn't pretty," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "But it was a great experience for these guys, especially this time of year, coming into a great environment against a tough defensive team and finding a way to gut it out."
March 3, 2018: Villanova 97, Georgetown 73
Villanova throttled Georgetown for the second time of the 2017-18 season, allowing Jay Wright to tie for the program lead in wins with 413 in the regular-season finale. Mikal Bridges had 24 points, while Jalen Brunson contributed 16 points and seven assists.
March 8, 2018 (Big East tournament): Villanova 94, Marquette 70
Jay Wright became Villanova's all-time wins leader as the Wildcats won their opening game in the Big East tournament. Mikal Bridges scored 25 points, while newly crowned Big East Player of the Year Jalen Brunson had 21.
March 9, 2018 (Big East tournament): Villanova 87, Butler 68
Villanova built a 19-point lead at halftime and its advantage climbed to 27 points in the second half after the Wildcats made 10 of their first 12 shots, while holding the Bulldogs without a point for nearly five and a half minutes to start the game. "That was one of our best defensive performances," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "We played well. They're a really good offensive team. They still shot 48 percent but the start defensively was the difference for us."
March 10, 2018 (Big East tournament): Villanova 76, Providence 66 (OT)
In the Big East tournament championship, Villanova met a worthy adversary after winning its first two tournament games by a combined 43 points. After not winning the Big East regular season championship, Villanova won its third Big East tournament title in four years.
The Wildcats held a 17-point advantage in the second half but let it slip away as Providence's Kyron Cartwright tied the game at 58 with a jumper, then Alpha Diallo made a layup to give the Friars the lead. Jalen Brunson tied the game with free throws and Providence missed a shot at the buzzer, leading to OT. Mikal Bridges scored 25 points, including two 3-pointers in overtime, to lead Villanova to a conference tournament title.
March 15, 2018 (NCAA tournament): No. 1 seed Villanova 87, No. 16 seed Radford 61
Playing in the state of Pennsylvania at Pittsburgh's PPG Paints Arena, No. 1 seed Villanova shot almost 60 percent from the field, including hot starts in both halves — 13-of-17 to start the first half, 10-of-12 to start the second. Defensively, the Wildcats held the Radford Highlanders to 3-of-19 shooting to open the game. "We love playing defense," Mikal Bridges said, "That's what we focus on the most. And it's just a great feeling when we are defending and playing hard together."
Watch highlights from the game below.
March 17, 2018 (NCAA tournament): No. 1 seed Villanova 81, No. 9 seed Alabama 58
Villanova made its first six 3-point attempts of the second half after entering halftime with just a five-point lead as Jalen Brunson and Omari Spellman played limited first-half minutes after each picked up two early fouls. Mikal Bridges scored a team-high 23 points, including five threes, while Donte DiVincenzo added 18 points off the bench. Bridges scored 19 of Villanova's first 21 points in the second half in a remarkable five-plus-minute stretch.
March 23, 2018 (NCAA tournament): No. 1 seed Villanova 90, West Virginia 78
After giving up more than 40 points in the first half for just the third time of the season, Villanova was in a battle against West Virginia, leading just 44-42 through 20 minutes. But the Wildcats outscored the Mountaineers by 10 points after halftime, 46-36, to win by 12 as Jalen Brunson scored a game-high 27 points as four of five starters scored in double figures. Freshman Omari Spellman was terrific, scoring 18 points with team-highs in rebounds (eight) and blocks (three), along with three assists and two steals. Villanova made 13-of-24 3-pointers in another remarkable shooting display.
March 25, 2018 (NCAA tournament): No. 1 seed Villanova 71, Texas Tech 59
Villanova advanced to the Final Four with a hard-fought win over defensive-minded Texas Tech. The Wildcats made just 4-of-24 3-point attempts and both teams made just a third of their shots. Villanova led by 13 points at the break but Texas Tech actually outscored the Wildcats after halftime. Five Villanova players scored between 11 and 15 points, led by Jalen Brunson's 15 points. Eric Paschall was a monster on the boards, pulling down 14 rebounds, while Texas Tech had just 28 as a team.
"We don't rely on our shooting," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "There's a lot more to the game. Our guys take pride in that. We never worry about missing shots. It's fun when they go in but we don't worry about missing them."
March 31, 2018 (NCAA tournament): No. 1 seed Villanova 95, No. 1 seed Kansas 79
This game was over almost as soon as it started. Villanova built an 18-point lead seven minutes into the game. It was an all-out barrage as Jalen Brunson, the AP Player of the Year, made his first three of the game after six of his teammates had made a 3-pointer. The Wildcats made 18 3-pointers in the game, on 45 percent shooting, as every Villanova started made multiple threes. Eric Paschall went 4-for-5 and Donte DiVincenzo went 3-for-5 off the bench.
After winning their second-weekend games by 12 points apiece, Villanova rolled to a 16-point win over a fellow No. 1 seed.
April 2, 2018 (NCAA tournament): No. 1 seed Villanova 79, No. 3 Michigan 62
Donte DiVincenzo exploded for a career-high 31 points on 10-of-15 shooting with five rebounds, three assists and two blocks as Villanova cruised to its second national championship in three years. He was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player, becoming the first bench player to win the award in five years and the first player with a 30-point game in the national championship since Miles Simon in 1997.
"Donte's willingness to come off the bench this year and be the sixth man really separated us from other teams," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "He was a sixth starter. He had a clear head and he did whatever we needed all year. Tonight we needed 31. I didn't think we'd need him to do that but he has done it, so we'll take it."
Despite trailing by seven points early, the Wildcats led by nine points at halftime and outscored the Wolverines by eight in the second half en route to a 17-point, landslide victory. DiVincenzo had 16 points in the first half, then 15 more after halftime. He rattled off 11 Villanova points in a row during a stretch in the second half, winking at former teammate Josh Hart, who had helped Villanova win the 2016 title and was sitting near the court at the game.
Watch the full replay of the game below.
Individual player awards, honors
- 2018 consensus National Player of the Year
- 2018 Bob Cousy Award winner (best point guard)
- 2018 consensus First Team All-American
- 2018 Big East Player of the Year
- 2018 First Team All-Big East
- 2018 Julius Erving Award winner (best small forward)
- 2018 Third Team All-American
- 2018 First Team All-Big East
- 2018 Big East tournament MVP
- 2018 Final Four Most Outstanding Player
- 2018 Big East Rookie of the Year
Villanova players drafted into the NBA
2018 NBA Draft
- No. 10 — Mikal Bridges, Philadelphia 76ers
- No. 17 — Donte DiVincenzo, Milwaukee Bucks
- No. 30 — Omari Spellman, Atlanta Hawks
- No. 33 — Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks
2019 NBA Draft
- No. 41 — Eric Paschall, Golden State Warriors
More on the men's basketball programs with the most national championships
- UCLA: 11 championships (1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1995)
- Kentucky: Eight championships (1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998, 2012)
- North Carolina: Six championships (1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009, 2017)
- Duke: Five championships (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015)
- Indiana: Five championships (1940, 1951, 1976, 1981, 1987)
- UConn: Four championships (1999, 2004, 2011, 2014)
- Kansas: Three championships (1952, 1988, 2008)