One high achievement this weekend under their belts, the Villanova Wildcats turned their attention to the NCAA Tournament and found out Sunday they are a No. 2 seed in the NCAA South Regional, going to Pittsburgh this week to face the closest possible opponent, the Delaware Blue Hens (2:45 p.m. tip).

Villanova star Collin Gillespie got a text from a friend the other day, talking about the NCAA Tournament, and a possible first-round matchup. Since the friend was his former teammate, Dylan Painter, now at Delaware, Gillespie thought of it right away as the Selection Sunday bracket was revealed, Delaware-Villanova on tap Friday at PPG Paints Arena.

» READ MORE: The Inquirer's Bracket Jawn: Time to make your picks.

He’d messaged Painter congratulations for winning the Colonial Athletic Association tournament, Gillespie said, and Painter texted back about how it would be wild if they met up in a 2-15 matchup.

It’s an interesting turn of events. Delaware and Villanova are bitter rivals … in football. This is something entirely different. The Blue Hens, 22-12 overall, finished fourth in the CAA regular season before sweeping through the postseason tournament.

Delaware’s local connections go on and on. Blue Hens coach Martin Ingelsby, in his first NCAA Tournament as a head coach, is an Archbishop Carroll High graduate — once recruited by Villanova, Jay Wright pointed out, but Ingelsby chose Notre Dame. Ingelsby’s father, Tom, was a star player at Villanova.

» READ MORE: A tired Villanova team needs to get refreshed to make a March Madness run

Sure to get attention, Blue Hens guard Jameer Nelson Jr., his team’s leading scorer, is a Haverford School graduate. His famous father played every season against Villanova, at the Pavilion or on Hawk Hill. Delaware forward Andrew Carr is from West Chester East High. Reserve Anthony Ochefu’s brother Daniel played a little basketball at Villanova.

“I haven’t seen many of their games, but I’ve definitely seen a few — I turn them on because of [Painter],” Gillespie said. “I know a lot of guys on their team. They have a lot of balance and a lot of depth.”

In fact, Delaware has six players who score between 13.7 and 9.5 points a game.

Of the selection in general, Gillespie said, “You never know where the selection show will go. You’re kind of just happy to see your name. The coaches are going to do a great job of preparing us and getting us ready.”

Jay Wright said, “We’ve been doing this long enough, when it pops up, you just know it’s going to be wild. You know it’s going to be something — the one year we played Franny O’Hanlon and Lafayette. It’s going to be something that you’re going to have to deal with.”

» READ MORE: March Madness 2022: NCAA men’s basketball tournament TV schedule, game times and announcers

Forget all the local connections, Wright said. “I have watched them. They are really good. They’re experienced, they’ve been together for a while. … They’ve really played their best basketball lately.”

Wright really got to know Ingelsby, he said, when Ingelsby became an assistant under Mike Brey at Notre Dame. They’d talk on the road — “We’ve got that Ingelsby-Villanova connection so we’d always talk,” and Wright pointed more ties since Ingelsby’s sister is married to former Villanova assistant Baker Dunleavy, now the Quinnipiac coach. “All that,” he said.

Of the local connections, asked if it “was cool” to have all that going on, Wright said, “It’s not cool. It’s cool for everybody else, for fans. For us, they know us, they’re comfortable with us. It’s a challenge. There would have been a challenge with some other team. That just happens to be the challenge with this team.”

Painter being at Delaware is a huge part of the challenge, Wright said.

» READ MORE: Sweet 16 things to look at in this NCAA field | Mike Jensen

“The thing about Dylan, he was like the ultimate Villanova player — he did all the dirty work, he got everything we were about,” Wright said. “He is really intelligent about what we do.”

That’s now a challenge.

“If anyone could explain what we do, it’s him,” Wright said. “Martin told me one time when I saw him in the summer recruiting, [Painter] brought a lot to their locker room. He didn’t leave here disgruntled. It was kind of a decision, he wanted to play more right away. We stayed in touch.”

» READ MORE: Villanova women make NCAA Tournament, will play No. 6 seed BYU

It’s not like Delaware will be jumping up and down getting to face a Villanova team that took down St. John’s, Connecticut, and Creighton in three straight barn-burners to win the Big East title. All sorts of Villanova players had stretches where they took charge at Madison Square Garden, with Gillespie ultimately deciding things in the final against Creighton with a couple of late jumpers. Ancient history now.