How Good Was Villanova?

 

Nova Champions
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

 

After championships are decided in major sports, the first response is to compare the champion with the previous champions in that sport. That is often foolhearty because things change over the years.

However, you can compare teams against their era and this Villanova team not only stacks up well, but is probably one of the top two or three championship teams over the past 10 years.

How do we know that? Just look at the domination. The Wildcats average margin of victory in its nine postseason games was 17.7. The only team in that run that was ranked outside of the RPI top-60 was first-round opponent, Radford. Their record against the other No. 1 seeds in throughout the season was 3-0 with an 18.7 margin of victory.

Villanova was No. 1 and No. 11 in adjusted offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency respectively for an overall KenPom rank of No. 1.

In two of the Wildcats four losses, junior guard Phil Booth didn’t play and in their first loss, it took Butler shooting 60 percent from three just to beat them.

Villanova had pros in juniors Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges and Erick Paschall along with freshman Omari Spellman and sophomore Donte DiVencenzo, the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.

It is foolish to think that just because Brunson was the only five-star recruit that this team is somehow less than. Speaking of which, he played maybe his worst game of the season in the national championship game and the Wildcats still won by 17.

The way they run offense and the way they all can shoot as well as being more than capable on defense leads me to believe this is one of the best teams of this era and is certainly the best since Kentucky won the title in 2012.

 

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