After struggling mightily in the first half then looking just a little bit less terrible in the second half to get by Milwaukee, it’s becoming evident that Villanova should not have been a No. 2 seed in the 2014 NCAA tournament.
In the first half, Villanova somehow managed to go 0-of-12 from the 3-point line. Milwaukee did do a fine job with its interior defense, forcing the Wildcats to take bad shots on the outside. That being said, the Wildcats showed no patience and were the ones who looked like they were up against a top seed. Whether they expected to come out and dominate or not, the bottom line is that Villanova barely looked good enough to be a No. 15 seed.
Several teams in the past have come out and looked terrible in their first game, but this one seemed different. For about two full minutes, Milwaukee’s Malcolm Moore played with only one shoe, and Villanova failed to score a single point. Also, it’s not like Milwaukee was playing particularly well to keep the game close. They were playing within their potential, but not exceeding expectations.
Milwaukee did look strong from the 3-point line, which is what really kept it within reach of Villanova. It was a defensive battle, and sure, the Wildcats ended up getting the win, but if they had been a No. 3 or No. 4 seed in March Madness, they would have lost to whichever team they faced.
Really, the only reason why Villanova pulled out the win is because Milwaukee went on a few brief scoring droughts. Honestly, the entire game was a scoring drought, but at least Milwaukee seemed to be playing for something. Villanova didn’t show up until halfway through the second half. I still think Villanova has a decent team, but the Wildcats will have to step up their game immensely if they even want to consider a chance at advancing into later rounds.