Villanova may not be a vintage Jay Wright team, but it may not matter

SAN ANTONIO – Villanova guard Collin Gillespie grabbed the final rebound and sprinted across the court at the AT&T Center. He threw the ball toward the ceiling and unleashed a medieval scream. Anyone who caught that moment, brief as it was, would never have believed that Villanova and its Super Senior guard had just won a game so ugly, and so bruising, that it left a mark—several, really—that could be felt next week in New Orleans.

The contrast was evident immediately, the gulf between what Villanova had accomplished and how much it had cost them made painfully clear. While fans waved signs that read WE BELIEVE and the Wildcats’ mascot hopped on the back of a male cheerleader, the ladder taken out for net cutting remained empty, as did the makeshift stage set up for the celebration.