For the 13th time in program history, the Villanova Wildcats are on their way to the Elite Eight after dispatching the Miami Hurricanes 92-69.
Faced off in the eye of a high-scoring Hurricane, Villanova went to work right away applying their own high-scoring attack on the game in front of the watchful eyes of former Wildcats head coach Rollie Massimino.
There was no let up as Villanova kicked into hyper-drive from the onset with every shot coming from the hands of Ryan Arcidiacono and Kris Jenkins, both of whom finished tonight with 21 points each respectively. On the interior, Daniel Ochefu applied his own brand of attack with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting.
In the end it and much in the vain of the phrase carpe diem, Villanova seized the game from the beginning and just kept going. Despite being the last Big East team remaining in the tournament they might be the toughest out of them all.
Here is what we learned from tonight's game.
1. Never trailed, never looked back
Not once in tonight's game, Villanova found themselves on the losing end or looking back in worry against Miami. From the onset of tonight;s game Villanova went right at Miami bringing the game to them in an unrelenting attack. As a team, the Wildcats shot the ball at a rate of 63% from all areas of the floor, 67% from 3-point range, and 95% from the foul line, missing only one foul shot over the course of the whole game. They just could not stop, even as Miami was surging at various points in the game. Villanova scored 18 points off of Miami's 12 turnovers, though in a surprise in the scoreline, both teams had the same amount of points in the paint at 28 and bench points at 28.
What worked well for the Wildcats even as Miami reflected in certain areas of their game was continuously going to the well that was hitting the likes of Arcidiacono, Jenkins, Hart, and Ochefu underneath to top it all off. Both Arcidiacono and Jenkins led the Wildcats tonight with 21 points, Hart contributed with 14 points, and Ochefu had himself a 17 point night. In the end it was just too much for the Hurricanes to handle as they found themselves in the eye of the storm.
2. Arcidiacono and Jenkins could not be stopped
Overall Villanova put on an offensive display that was nothing short of poetic, as they went after Miami from the very onset of the game and at its core was the attack of Ryan Arcidiacono and Kris Jenkins as they provided the motor to move the cogs for Villanova.
As already stated, both Arcidiacono and Jenkins finished tonight with a team leading 21 points. Arcidiacono shot the ball at a rate of 7-of-11 from the floor overall, and went 4-of-7 from 3-point range, and 3-of-3 from the foul line. Jenkins night shooting ended with him going 8-of-10 overall from the floor, and 5-of-6 from three point range. He never once went to the foul line, but was busy torching Miami from beyond the arc.
Jenkins also led Villanova tonight in rebounds with 9 and tied for the lead in assists with Arcidiacono at a mark of 4.
Most teams in the tournament, especially by this stage have at least two players they that can anchor their play two, while Villanova can call on nearly anyone to shore themselves up it is reassuring to know that both Arcidiacono and Jenkins can provide what is needed going forward.
3. The Wildcats are hitting their stride
Its no secret that Villanova is the last member of the Big East remaining in the tournament. It also might be no secret that this team is hitting their stride at the right moment of the tournament. So far up to and including tonight's win, Villanova is averaging at least 88 points so far in the tournament. While yes it was quick work against the likes of UNC-Asheville and Iowa, the Wildcats are just unrelenting in their abilities on the court. So much so that they are proving once more why they were ranked number one at points during the regular season.
While they still have tough games going forward including their next round against either the likes of Kansas or Maryland, their game will be well adjusted for that game as it has been the the past three games so far. In the end, Villanova is waving that Big East banner proud as they are proving to be a behemoth to play.
For now, the Wildcats put on a display against Miami and going forward may well be the most in form team in their region let alone the whole tournament.
What happens next is left to be seen, but they are in their stride. No doubt aobut it