Villanova Wildcats: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Dylan Ennis #31 of the Villanova Wildcats goes for the layup against the Xavier Musketeers during the championship game of the Big East basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2015 in New York City. (Getty)

Dylan Ennis #31 of the Villanova Wildcats goes for the layup against the Xavier Musketeers during the championship game of the Big East basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2015 in New York City. (Getty)

Whether through an automatic bid or a committee selection, Villanova was expected to go dancing. Well the Wildcats didn’t have to wait for the Selection Sunday announcement, they punched their ticket Saturday, March 14 by winning the Big East Conference Tournament.

The Wildcats knocked off Marquette, 84-49, Providence, 63-61, and Xavier, 69-52.

Villanova is heading into the NCAA Tournament with a 32-2 overall record, 16-2 in the Big East and finished with a No. 4 ranking in the nation’s top 25.

You can meet the Wildcats here and see their path to the NCAA Tournament in their season schedule.

Here’s what you need to know about Villanova:


1. This Is Villanova’s 10th NCAA Tournament Appearance in the Past 11 Seasons

The Villanova Wildcats celebrate after defeating the Xavier Musketeers 69-52 in the championship game of the Big East basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2015 in New York City. (Getty)

The Villanova Wildcats celebrate after defeating the Xavier Musketeers 69-52 in the championship game of the Big East basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2015 in New York City. (Getty)

Since 1939, Nova has had 43 NCAA Tournament berths. And since 2005, the Wildcats have earned a ticket to the dance every year with the exception of the 2012 season. Villanova has had four Final Four appearances – the most recent in 2009 – and won the national championship in 1985.

Last year, the Wildcats earned a No. 2 seed in the tournament’s east bracket and played two rounds. Nova defeated Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 73-53, and then lost to UConn, 77-65.


2. This Is Villanova’s First Conference Tournament Championship in 20 years

Darrun Hilliard #4 of the Villanova Wildcats cuts the net after defeating the Xavier Musketeers 69-52 in the championship game of the Big East basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2015 in New York City. (Getty)

Darrun Hilliard #4 of the Villanova Wildcats cuts the net after defeating the Xavier Musketeers 69-52 in the championship game of the Big East basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2015 in New York City. (Getty)

Although the Wildcats have made it to March Madness the past 10 of 11 seasons, this is the first time Villanova has won the Big East Conference Tournament since 1995.

Prior to Saturday, March 14, Nova clenched the conference championship 1978, 1980 and 1995. They also won the regular season conference title in 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1997, 2006, 2014 and this year.


3. Darrun Hilliard II Is the Only True Senior on the Wildcats Team


#BIGEASTbests: Darrun Hilliard Scores 24 vs. CreightonDarrun Hilliard scored 24 points in Villanova's victory over Creighton.2015-01-26T16:10:18.000Z

Darrun Hilliard II is the lone senior on the team and leads Nova in scoring – averaging 14.1 points and shooting 43.4 percent from the field and 37.6 from three-point range. The 6-foot-6 senior also averages 3.3 boards and 2.2 assists per game.

Teammate Daniel Ochefu is almost averaging a double-double with 9.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, and Josh Hart, who averages 10.2 points and 4.3 rebounds.

Check out the team’s stats here.


4. Jay Wright Is In His 14th Season as Head Coach

Josh Hart #3 celebrates with head coach Jay Wright of the Villanova Wildcats after defeating the Xavier Musketeers 69-52 in the championship game of the Big East basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2015 in New York City. (Getty)

Josh Hart #3 celebrates with head coach Jay Wright of the Villanova Wildcats after defeating the Xavier Musketeers 69-52 in the championship game of the Big East basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2015 in New York City. (Getty)

Born in Churchville, Pennsylvania, Jay Wright, 53, grew up around the game of basketball. He played all the way up through four years at Bucknell University before graduating in 1983.

Shortly after graduation Wright began his coaching career as an assistant at the University of Rochester – a Division III school. He stayed there until 1986 before moving onto to the assistant position at Drexel. Wright spent a year there and then moved onto Villanova to work as an assistant from 1987-1992. He then took his talents out west to UNLV as an assistant for two years before taking over the program at Hofstra in 1994.

Wright led the charge for the Pride until 2001 when he returned to Villanova – this time as the head coach. Since taking over the Wildcats’ program, Wright has compiled a 437-236 record, was named Big East Coach of the Year four times, Daily News Sportsperson of the Year in 2009, America East Coach of the Year twice and Naismith College Coach of the Year in 2006.


5. Villanova University Is Located In Villanova, Pennsylvania

Ryan Arcidiacono #15 of the Villanova Wildcats drives to the basket against Ben Bentil #0 of the Providence Friars during a semifinal game of the Big East basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 13, 2015 in New York City. (Getty)

Ryan Arcidiacono #15 of the Villanova Wildcats drives to the basket against Ben Bentil #0 of the Providence Friars during a semifinal game of the Big East basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 13, 2015 in New York City. (Getty)

Villanova University is located in Villanova, Pennsylvania, about 18 miles northwest of Philadelphia. It was founded in 1842 and is rooted in Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition and liberal arts and has an enrollment of 6,554 undergrad and 2,897 graduate students.

Nova has various different college divisions such as the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law.


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