By Blake Barstar
The Villanova Wildcats are the #1 seed in the East region for the tournament and are destined to win another national championship.
The Wildcats come into the tournament as the Big East Tournament champions after knocking off Providence in a thrilling overtime game 76-66. The Wildcats have been dominant all year coming into the tournament with a 30-4 record and on a five game win streak. This is Villanova’s second straight year of being the #1 seed in the tournament. However, last year the Wildcats got knocked out in the second round by Wisconsin ending the season in great disappointment. But this postseason has a different outlook as Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges stepped up to being the leaders of this team. Jalen Brunson who just won Big East’s Player of the Year is now one of the front runners to win the National Player of the Year. Brunson, who’s averaging 19 ppg this season, is now expected to lead Villanova deep into the tournament.
Things to keep track of Villanova during the tournament are the Killer B’s: Brunson, Bridges, and Booth. Junior Mikal Bridges was named the most outstanding player of the Big East Tournament. Bridges has been dominating both defensively and offensively this season and is now projected to be a lottery pick for the NBA draft. Bridges is averaging 17.6 ppg this season and has recorded 51 steals on defense. Brunson, as mentioned before, is a prominent leader for the Wildcats this season and is very composed during late game situations. Junior Phil Booth is often overlooked under Bridges and Brunson, but is still a key leader for this team. After recently suffering a hand injury, Booth looks forward to helping out Nova in another tournament run.
Villanova has dominated the first weekend of the tournament and looks forward to continue their success as they advance in the Sweet 16.