Providence, R.I. –- So down goes the weakest of the four No. 2s.
America will get behind Saint Mary’s as a Cinderella team because the Gaels haven’t been to the Sweet 16 before today. That’s fine. The Gaels now deserve to be treated differently.
No other big man in the country, save DeMarcus Cousins at Kentucky, plays the post like Omar Samhan. Cole Aldrich may be a better pro because he’s more athletic but he doesn’t have the post moves Samhan has. Nor does he have the court presence. Samhan has great control of a game.
What’s lost in the 75-68 win over Villanova is the big shots Saint Mary's role players made. Mickey McConnell hit a 3-point banker that essentially iced the game. Matthew Dellavedova held his own against the stronger and quicker Villanova guards.
You can’t fault Villanova’s effort. The Wildcats played with great purpose unlike in the first round. But Scottie Reynolds was simply off. He had two great chances to bury 3s that would have put the Cats in front but didn’t make them.
Look out next season because Nova has a special guard in Maalik Wayns who was aggressive in taking over the game and getting into the lane.