“Selection Sunday is a great tradition at our school,” said Jay Wright. “It’s like Christmas.”
He wasn’t kidding. Villanova hosted the Selection Sunday show, with doors opening to Connelly Center’s Villanova Room at 5:45. However, students and alumni lined up way before that. The line zig-zagged and curved in every direction possible. Students and fans alike packed into the Villanova Room with excitement for their Big East Champion Wildcats.
Nova Nation didn’t need to wait for long to see their Wildcats get called up. Villanova was awarded the second-highest 1-seed as the #2 overall team behind Kentucky. It is the Wildcats’ first 1-seed since 2006, where they ultimately made it to the Elite Eight before falling to Florida.
Villanova sits atop the East region of the NCAA Tournament Bracket. Their first opponent will be the Lafayette Leopards. Last year, the Wildcats opened the regular season against them. Now, the road to Indianapolis will begin with the Leopards.
Villanova has some interesting company in its bracket. Aside from 2-seed Virginia, there are some familiar foes and talented teams. There is a chance for a Sweet 16 matchup between Villanova and Louisville, an old Big East game. Providence is in the mix as a 6-seed. Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans will look to cause some problems as a 7-seed. The Spartans always seem to find success come March.
Should Villanova beat Lafayette, there is a possibility that the Wildcats face the NC State Wolfpack. NC State is a tough team, they have some good wins and a number of close losses. Depending on which NC State shows up on Sunday night, the Wolfpack may not be playing like an 8-seed.
Here’s a look at the East Region (click to Enlarge):
After Villanova was announced to the East Region, coach Jay Wright took some time to address the fans that came out to support the team. Seniors Darrun Hilliard and JayVaughn Pinkston had a few words for the crowd and thanked them also for coming out to Madison Square Garden.
Six Big East teams will be dancing. Aside from Villanova and Providence, Butler, Xavier, St. John’s, and Georgetown will participate in the festivities. St. John’s and Georgetown are in the South Region. St. John’s was given a 9-seed and will play San Diego State. Unfortunately for the Johnnies, they’ll be doing it without Chris Obekpa. Obekpa is suspended for two weeks for a violation of team rules. Georgetown garnered a few surprises as a 4-seed. The Hoyas will play 12-seed Eastern Washington. Butler and Xavier were given 6-seeds in different regions. The Bulldogs will take on Valparaiso. The Musketeers will play the Harvard Crimson.