We hear the same stories over and over in college basketball. Kentucky this. Duke that. North Carolina this and that. Kansas, this, that and the other thing.
Can we talk about Villanova for a minute? The Wildcats are the defending national men’s champions. They are ranked No. 1 in the polls again. And they are 11-0 after stopping Temple 78-57 on Tuesday night.
A few things to know before you go back to your one-and-done Wildcats, your obnoxious Duke fans, your entitled Tar Heel supporters:
Villanova has won 17 straight games, including six last year in the NCAA Tournament to earn the title. They haven’t lost since dropping the Big East title game to Seton Hall last March 13. No team has repeated as NCAA champs since Florida won back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007, but the Wildcats could.
And if you want a candidate for Player of the Year, try Josh Hart.
Unlike the rented players elsewhere, Hart came back for his senior season and continues to buff his game. He got off to a slow start against Temple but finished with 26 points, 22 coming in a brilliant nine-minute stretch where he scored 11 straight. That’s on the heels of the 37 he hung on Notre Dame Saturday.
Watch him. Some respected people did on Tuesday night. NBA scouts, former Villanova stars Daniel Ochefu of the Washington Wizards, Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors and Joel Embiid and Robert Covington of the Philadelphia 76ers all turned out to see another of those passion-filled Philly Big 5 games, and Hart.
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