Villanova’s No. 6 seed in the South Region is the highest the Wildcats have been seeded since 2013. Defending their national championship might be a longshot, but that doesn’t mean there still can’t be some fun over the next couple of weeks.

The Wildcats play Saint Mary’s in the first round on Thursday in Hartford.

“This to me is one of the best year’s Jay has had ... losing all those players he lost [to the NBA]," said Ed Cooley, head coach of Big East rival Providence before Villanova won an unprecedented third consecutive conference tournament championship. “They’ll be a tough out for whoever’s going to face them."

Here’s a look at how Villanova has fared in their 13 NCAA Tournament appearances under Jay Wright, which includes two championships, three Final Four runs and first-weekend elimination seven times.

Villanova in NCAA Tournament under Jay Wright

Year
Seed
Fared
Opponents
Top players*
2019
6-South
Playing Saint Mary’s, Thursday
11-Saint Mary’s
Phil Booth, Eric Paschall, Collin Gillespie
2018
1-East
Won championship
Beat 16-Radford, 9-Alabama, 5-West Virginia, 3-Texas Tech, 1-Kansas, 3-Michigan
Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges, Omari Spellman, Eric Paschall, Phil Booth, Donte DiVincenzo
2017
1-East
Lost in second round
Beat 16-Mount St. Mary’s, Lost to 8-Wisconsin
Josh Hart, Jalen Brunson, Kris Jenkins
2016
2-South
Won championship
Beat 15-UNC Asheville, 7-Iowa, 3-Miami, 1-Kansas, 2-Oklahoma, 1-North Carolina
Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins, Ryan Arcidiacono, Daniel Ochefu
2015
1-East
Lost in second round
Beat 16-Lafayette, Lost to 8-North Carolina State
Darrun Hilliard, Ryan Arcidiacono, Josh Hart
2014
2-East
Lost in second round
Beat 15-Milwaukee, Lost to 7-Connecticut
James Bell, Darrun Hilliard, JayVaughn Pinkston
2013
9-South
Lost in first round
Lost to 8-North Carolina
JayVaughn Pinkston, Ryan Arcidiacono, Darrun Hilliard
2011
9-East
Lost in first round
Lost to 8-George Mason
Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes, Maalik Wayns
2010
2-South
Lost in second round
Beat 15-Radford, Lost to 10-Saint Mary’s
Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher, Antonio Pena
2009
3-East
Lost in Final Four
Beat 14-American, 6-UCLA, 2-Duke, 1-Pittsburgh, Lost to 1-North Carolina
Dante Cunningham, Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher
2008
12-Midwest
Lost in Sweet 16
Beat 5-Clemson, 13-Siena, Lost to 1-Kansas
Scottie Reynolds, Dante Cunningham
2007
9-West
Lost in first round
Lost to 8-Kentucky
Curtis Sumpter, Scottie Reynolds, Mike Nardi
2008
1-Minneapolis
Lost in Elite 8
Beat 16-Monmouth, 8-Arizona, 4-Boston College, Lost to 3-Florida
Randy Foye, Allan Ray, Kyle Lowry, Mike Nardi
2005
5-Syracuse
Lost in Sweet 16
Beat 12-New Mexico, 4-Florida, Lost to 1-North Carolina
Allan Ray, Randy Foye, Curtis Sumpter
*Players who averaged at least 10.0 points per game.

» Video: Kris Jenkins and a shot for the ages

Did you know? Villanova was 6-5 against teams that made this year’s tournament. They beat Florida State and Temple and lost to Michigan and Kansas. The Wildcats split with Marquette and St. John’s and won two of three against Seton Hall.

Most points NCAA Tournament game under Jay Wright

Player
Year
Opponent
Round*
Points
1. Donte DiVincenzo
2018
Michigan
Championship (W)
31
2. Randy Foye
2006
Boston College
Sweet 16 (W)
29
3. Randy Foye
2005
North Carolina
Sweet 16 (L)
28
t4. Darrun Hilliard
2015
North Carolina St.
Second round (L)
27
t4. Jalen Brunson
2018
West Virginia
Sweet 16 (W)
27
t6. Allan Ray
2006
Arizona
Second round (W)
25
t6. Dante Cunningham
2009
American
First round (W)
25
t6. Randy Foye
2006
Florida
Elite 8 (L)
25
t6. Scottie Reynolds
2008
Siena
Second round (W)
25
t6. Dwayne Anderson
2009
American
First round (W)
25
t11. andy Foye
2006
Arizona
Second round (W)
24
t11. Eric Paschall
2018
Kansas
Final Four (W)
24
*Villanova’s result

Other leaders

Minutes played: 45, Randy Foye, 2006, vs. Boston College (W, Sweet 16)

Rebounds: 15, Jason Fraser, 2005, vs. Florida (W, second round)

Assists: 7, Reggie Redding, 2009, vs. UCLA (W, second round)

Steals: 5, Randy Foye, 2006, vs. Monmouth (W, first round)

Blocked shots: 3, seven times, most recent: Omari Spellman, 2018, vs. Kansas (W, Final Four)

Three-pointers made: 6 for 10, Darrun Hilliard, 2015, vs. North Carolina St. (L, second round)

Did you know? The late Howard Porter set the Villanova record for most points in an NCAA Tournament game when he dropped 35 on Penn in the 1971 East Region final.

Villanova’s seeds

1 – 2006, 2015, 2017, 2018

2 – 2010, 2014, 2016

3 – 2009

5 – 2005

6 – 2005

9 – 2007, 2011, 2013

12 – 2008

Did you know? Two teams have won the National title as a 6-seed: Jimmy Valvano’s N.C. State Cardiac Kids in 1983, and Danny Manning and Kansas in 1988. The last 6-seed to make it to the Final Four was Michigan in 1992.

Villanova’s record by seed

1-seed: 11-3 (2018 title)

2-seed: 8-2 (2016 title)

3-seed: 4-1 (2009 Final Four)

5-seed: 2-1

9-seed: 0-3

12-seed: 2-1

Did you know? Villanova is 6-3 in NCAA Tournament games when they have a higher seed than their opponent. Their biggest upset was in 2008 when they were a 12-seed and upset 5th-seeded Clemson behind 21 points from Scottie Reynolds.

Villanova’s seeds when …

Winning the national championship: 2 (2016), 1 (2018)

Losing in Final Four: 3 (2009)

Losing in Elite 8: 1 (2006)

Losing in Sweet 16: 5 (2005), 12 (2008)

Losing in second round: 2 (2010), 2 (2014), 1 (2015), 1 (2017)

Losing in first round: 9 (2007), 9 (2011), 9 (2013)

Did you know? Villanova has won two titles under Jay Wright and lost to the eventual champs five times. Those teams and when they beat Villanova: 2005 North Carolina (Sweet 16), 2006 Florida (Elite 8), 2008 Kansas (Sweet 16), 2009 North Carolina (Final Four), 2014 Connecticut (second round).