NCAA MBB: Costly Mistakes Hurt Wildcats As They Fall To VCU in First Round of Men’s NIT

NCAA MBB: Costly Mistakes Hurt Wildcats As They Fall To VCU in First Round of Men’s NIT

Radnor, PA: It has been a rollercoaster of a season for the Villanova Wildcats under Coach Kyle Neptune as they would make postseason play but not in the tournament they wanted. The Wildcats would be in the NIT battling VCU on Wednesday night at Finneran Pavilion. This would be Villanova’s first home NIT game since 2004.

The winner would move on to play South Florida in the 2nd round Saturday/Sunday.


How the game went:

The Wildcats would get the scoring started and VCU would respond with an 8-0 run for an 8-5 lead. Later on, VCU went on an 11-0 run for the 19-14 lead.  For most of the first half, Villanova was coming from behind and you could see the defense that VCU was showing was making them angry.


The Wildcats would close the first half strong as Mark Armstrong would hit a 3 at the buzzer to end the 1st half, cutting into the VCU lead to make it 31-30 at halftime.

Going into the second half, could Villanova find way to make VCU uncomfortable? Early on, the answer was yes with two big plays from TJ Bamba, including this monster dunk:

The Wildcats would lead 49-46 on a 3 by Hausen, then VCU would respond and get the lead back up to 7 at 56-49. Eric Dixon would not let the Wildcats go down without a fight and would score the next five points that gave the Wildcats the 57-56 lead with 5:35 left.

After that run, the VCU Rams would make the bigger plays and the Wildcats had costly mistakes that hurt them, especially two wide-open dunks which gave the rams a 7-point lead at 66-59.

VCU would come on the road and take down Villanova 70-61, ending the Wildcats season.

As the game ended, some fans were chanting “Fire Neptune”.


Villanova Coach Kyle Neptune’s message to the fans:



Kyle Neptune on the “Fire Neptune” chants:



What is next:

There a couple of things that Villanova would need to do to fix things to make the NCAA Tournament in the 24-25 season.

1. Can Kyle Neptune fix things to do better during the back stretch of games?
2. What players are staying and who is going to enter the Transfer Portal?

Go to top button