Villanova

Wildcats

Season Record16-5

Player to WatchJeremiah Robinson-Earl

Key PlayersCollin Gillespie, Caleb Daniels, Brandon Slater, Cole Swider, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Jermaine Samuels

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Intro

Expectations were high for Villanova coming into the 2020-21 season, and the Wildcats were consistently ranked in the top-15 all year. A 27-day COVID pause interrupted their momentum and the ‘Cats had a few blemishes after returning to the court, including a road loss to a below .500 Butler team. Villanova ultimately enters March Madness as one of the top teams in the Big East and college basketball.

Player to Watch

Villanova might be known for its guard-heavy tradition, but Robinson-Earl anchors the post on both ends of the floor. He’s in the NBA Draft conversation and can raise his stock with a nice showing in March. The Wildcats are thin up front, but he’s held his own as a tenacious interior presence and a gradually improving perimeter shooter.

Case for Team

Experience. The Wildcats returned virtually everyone from last year’s team, with exception to first-round draft pick and Detroit Piston Saddiq Bey. Now a year older and wiser, Villanova has seen its players take a step up and the Wildcats continue to win on the court.

Case Against Team

Defensive inconsistency. As experienced as this Villanova squad is, its shortcomings have mostly been on the defensive end of the court this season. Whether it’s having trouble containing a more athletic team or mishandling ball screens, the ‘Cats rank below average in shooting percentage allowed. When the three-point happy Wildcats can’t get their shots to drop, it can be a long night if they struggle defensively too.