If You’re Looking for Philly NCAA Basketball Talent, It’s V for Villanova.

Villanova had last won a title in 1985 under coach Rollie Massimino when in 2016 Villanova Guard Ryan Archidiacano raced up the court with 4.7 seconds remaining in the National Championship Game. On this night, Villanova wasn’t going to be content to go into overtime against North Carolina.

This Villanova team was going to try to score.

Like so many times in practice, he flipped the ball to Kris Jenkins and set a screen.

Jenkins didn’t hesitate.

With .04 tens of a second left he caught the pass, squared himself to the basket, elevated, and let go with a determined, perfect, quick, pin-point rotation on the ball. With no time left on the clock, the shot was good and Villanova basketball was once again National Champions, 77–74.

Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons.

Two seasons later, the Wildcats would not need a last-second shot to repeat. 

Against Michigan, sophomore guard Donte DiVincenzo would drop 31 points on the University of Michigan, including five three pointers. He also added scoring from all over the floor, five rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots in the 79–62 National Championship Win.

No player in NCAA history has ever come off of the bench to score more in a final four game.

Photo Courtesy of Villanova

For almost 23 years — Villanova’s 1985 National Championship who beat Patrick Ewing’s Georgetown Hoyas 66–64 under coach Rollie Massimino — was considered Philadelphia’s last crown until the Phillies won the World Series in 2008.

Why is Villanova so successful at developing NBA talent?

When the NBA Calls — Villanova knows what the NBA is looking for when they come knocking. A total of 63 players have been selected from Villanova’s program in history, with six of them in the last ten years. Of those players, 17 were first round selections, and 17 second round selections.

Location, Location — It’s hard to argue against the gorgeous scenery and lush campus grounds off of the Main Line where Villanova university is located. Villanova is the only Big 5 school to not be located in the City of Philadelphia. What athlete wouldn’t want to attend a University situated right on the beauty of the Main Line?

It’s All About Graduation — Renowned for its education, Villanova ranks in the top 5 nationally among athletic departments with a 99% graduation rate for its student athletes.

Just Win, Baby — Since 2000, the Villanova Wildcats have ranked 8th in the nation in the success of their program, with 510 total wins. They have 14 total NCAA March Madness appearances, three Final Fours, and two national championships.

Sure, historically Villanova doesn’t rank as successful as other programs like North Carolina, Kentucky, and Duke in all-time wins.

When top collegiate talent is evaluated on an NBA Draft board however, the first place to look in Philadelphia is at the confluence of I-76 and I-476, on the Main Line.

Not far outside of the city limits.

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