Remember when Jay Wright couldn’t get it done?
It seemed like every March we would have the same discussion. Can Wright finally win the big game at Villanova? For years he was dubbed as a good coach, but not a great one. We questioned whether he’d ever win a title. But in the last five years, Villanova has been the best program in the entire country. And it’s really not even that close. The Wildcats are 162-21 since the end of the 2012-13 season. 162 wins to only 21 losses. They win 88 percent of their games played. How insane is that!
Not to mention that Wright won a national title. Yeah, he won the big game. Not only did they win, but Wright’s calm demeanor and play calling was an essential factor in doing so. Think about it: 162-21. To put it in perspective, Kansas has 36 losses in that span. Kentucky has 38. Duke? 40. North Carolina? 47. Villanova’s been unquestionably the best team since 2014. It’s resulted in tournament success as well. Wright’s team is 12-3 in the NCAA Tournament including the 2014 campaign.
Why is Villanova so consistent?
Oh right, plus he went to the Final Four in 2009. People always seem to forget about that. The Wildcats have also won three of the last four Big East Tournament championships. He’s built a machine at Villanova. And he’s able to do it through a consistent system. Wright recruits the best players, like everyone else does, but he targets people that have an eye on winning before anything else. And that’s the first step in succeeding in college basketball. His teams are more experience and fundamentally sound than any other program.
He has brought in guys like Kyle Lowry, Scottie Reynolds, Ryan Arcidiacono, Kris Jenkins, Josh Hart, Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges, and more, that simply care about winning at all costs. After defeating West Virginia, 90-78, last night, the Wildcats advanced to another Elite Eight. One more win and the Wildcats will break the record for most wins in a four-year period. They’ll face Texas Tech with a berth in the Final Four on the line. And with a win, Wright would continue to cement his legacy as one of the best coaches of the generation.
Photo Credit: NBC Sports.