BEFORE VILLANOVA takes its next NCAA Tournament step tomorrow, let's look back at some of the program's greatest yesterdays.
The Wildcats have packed in a lot of memories since becoming one of the eight teams in the inaugural 1939 NCAA dance. From George Duzminski to Scottie Reynolds, here's a look at some of the school's most significant tournament moments:
Those who have played in Final Fours for Villanova and the number of points each player scored in the games respectively:
1939 — Lost to Ohio State, 53-36
1971 — Beat W. Kentucky, 92-89 (2 ot); lost to UCLA, 68-62
Chris Ford#8, 2
Tom Ingelsby#14, 7
Joe McDowell#4, 0
Howard Porter#22, 25
Hank Siemiontkowski#31, 19
Clarence Smith#13, 9
1985 — Beat Memphis State, 52-45; beat Georgetown, 66-64
Chuck Everson#0, 0
Harold Jensen#6, 14
Dwayne McClain#19, 17
Gary McLain#9, 8
Ed Pinckney#12, 16
Mark Plansky#3, 0
Dwight Wilbur#0, 0
PRIDE OF THE LITTER
Villanova's all-time all-tournament performers:
Ed Pinckney (1981-85): Named the 1985 tournament MOP after standing toe-to-toe with Patrick Ewing in the near-perfect championship game.
Howard Porter (1968-71): Arguably the greatest Wildcat of them all. Led Villanova to 1971 title game. Legacy became somewhat stained after his records were nullified because he had signed a pro contract midway through his senior year.
Dwayne McClain (1981-85): The only Wildcat to score in double figures during each of the six games in the '85 title run. Had 20 in his tournament debut against Northeastern as a fresman in 1982.
Hank Siemiontkowski (1969-72): Averaged 22.4 points during the 1971 tourney. Had 31 points and 15 rebounds against Western Kentucky in national semifinal game.
Randy Foye (2002-06): Averaged 22.1 points in seven tournament games, which included a trip to the 2005 Sweet 16 and the 2006 Elite Eight.
Scottie Reynolds (2006-)
Gary McLain (1981-85)
Dante Cunningham (2005-)
Paul Arizin (1947-50)
Harold Jensen (1983-87)
Harold Pressley (1982-86)
Wali Jones (1961-64)
John Pinone (1979-83)
Doug West (1985-89)
Keith Herron (1974-78)
Very unofficial, selected by DN sports writer Ed Barkowitz
Villanova's most memorable NCAA Tournament games:
1. 1985 national championship: The Wildcats were nearly perfect in their historic, 66-64 win over Georgetown; and they had to be. Villanova shot a record 78.6 percent from the field (22-for-28) and still only won by two.
2. 2009 Elite Eight: Scottie Reynolds' shot beat Pittsburgh last week and sent Villanova to its first Final Four in 24 years.
3. 1982 second round: Third-seeded Villanova needed three overtimes to dispense of gritty 14th-seeded Northeastern, coached by future UConn legend Jim Calhoun. The Huskies forced the third overtime on a tip-in that appeared to come after the buzzer before freshmen Dwayne McClain and Ed Pinckney delivered key plays to seal the 76-72 win.
4. 1985 regional final: After watching the Wildcats score a dismal 17 points in the first 20 minutes, coach Rollie Massimino tells his team that he'd rather be home eating pasta than watching them get rolled by North Carolina. Villanova responds by outscoring the Tar Heels by 17 in the second half to roll into the Final Four, 56-44.
5. 1971 Final Four: It took two overtimes, but Villanova eventually outlasted Western Kentucky, 92-89. A missed Hilltoppers free throw at the end of regulation gave Villanova new life.
Honorable mention, 1971 regional final: Villanova overwhelmed a Penn squad that entered the game 28-0, with a decisive 90-47 win. The Quakers, who were ranked third in the country, missed 47 of 67 field-goal attempts.
1. 1971 national championship: Villanova put up a game fight against a UCLA team in mid-dynasty before falling, 68-62. The lingering memory is the mighty Bruins playing stall ball late in an effort to force Villanova out of its stiffling zone defense as the crowd in Houston jeered.
2. 2005 Sweet 16: A questionable traveling call on Allan Ray with 9 seconds remaining basically ended the fifth-seeded Wildcats' chance of upsetting top-seeded North Carolina. The Tar Heels held on for a 67-66 win and eventually went on to win the national title.
3. 1955 second round: Allen Griffith was whistled for a foul with 3 seconds left that led to the winning free throws in Canisius' 73-71 victory at the Palestra. It was the final game for Bob Schafer, the Roman Catholic guard who became the first Wildcat to reach 2,000 career points.
4. 1981 second round: The Wildcats did an admirable job of limiting national player of the year Ralph Sampson to 17 points, but ran out of steam and lost to top-seeded Virginia, 54-50.
5. 1995 first round: The Wildcats were stunned by 14th-seeded Old Dominion and guard Petey Sessoms' 35 points in a 89-81 triple-overtime loss. Four Philadelphia teams made the tournament that year (Drexel, Penn and Temple were the others) and all four lost in the first round.
Villanova has more wins as a lower seed than any team in college basketball. Here are the leaders (seeding began in 1979):
How some notable opponents have fared in NCAA Tournament games against Villanova
Player, school#Year#Pts.#VU result
Bill Bradley, Princeton#1964#30#Won, 74-62
Calvin Murphy, Niagara#1970#18#Won, 98-73
Steve Bilsky/Dave Wohl, Penn#1971#8#Won, 90-47
Michael Brooks, La Salle#1978#35#Won, 103-97
Ralph Sampson, Virginia#1981#17#Lost, 54-50
Michael Jordan, N. Carolina#1982#15#Lost, 70-60
Len Bias, Maryland#1985#8#Won, 46-43
Patrick Ewing, Georgetown#1985#14#Won, 66-64
Shaquille O'Neal, LSU#1990#12#Lost, 70-63
Sean May, N. Carolina#2005#14#Lost, 67-66
Joakim Noah, Florida#2006#21#Lost, 75-62
DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh#2009#20#Won, 78-76