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Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wildcats proved coaches wrong

With a 67-57 victory over No. 5 Georgetown Wednesday, Villanova completed a 19-12 regular season, 10-8 in the Big East.

And while that might not inspire a new banner for the Pavilion or even squeeze into the most-read chapters in the Wildcats' deep basketball history, it did do this much: It proved a lot of coaches wrong.

What were the Big East coaches thinking, anyway, when they figured Nova for 12th place in the 15-team conference, back when they were doing their preseason guessing?

“I've said this since Media Day,” said John Thompson III, Georgetown's coach. “You have to pick because the league says we have to pick. But when you take a look at who might be No. 1 and who might be last, it is such a magnification of small differences. It is very little. So you are just picking names. I don't think it's a surprise that a team that was picked 12th and is now seventh or eighth. That's not a surprise.”

Next, the Big East Tournament. The popular thinking is that the Cats --- with victories over Top 5 Louisville, Syracuse and Georgetown --- will be an NCAA Tournament team even if their bus gets a flat in the Lincoln Tunnel and they never show up.

But they'll show up. And they could win there, too.

Because anyone who thought that team was the fourth worst in any conference just wasn't paying attention.

Check out my column on the surprising Wildcats in the Daily Times Thursday and, as always, on


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