NCAA Championship features rivals of Central Indiana’s Big Ten, Big East teams
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – No team in college basketball has had more recent success than Villanova. The Wildcats have more than 30 wins in four straight seasons, three Big East titles during that span, and tonight, have a chance for their second NCAA Championship in a three-year period.
“Sometimes, you’re on a bus ride and you look over at an assistant and you’re like ‘Can you believe we’re here?'”, questioned Villanova head coach Jay Wright. “I think I’ll try to get some type of understanding of what’s happening over the last three years when it’s over.”
Also, no team in college basketball has had more recent success against Villanova than Butler. Over the past two years, Nova’s only lost eight games total, and three of those losses were to the Bulldogs, including earlier this Big East season.
Butler head coach Lavall Jordan may be conflicted Monday night, hoping for success for his conference and also for one of his coaching mentors, Michigan head coach John Beilein, whom Jordan coached under for six seasons in Ann Arbor.
In the Big Ten, one of the best matchups in recent seasons has been Michigan versus Purdue. In five games in the past two years, four have been decided by single digits.
“It seems like our games more than not come down to the last couple possessions,” explained Purdue head coach Matt Painter after a 92-88 Boilers’ win over the Wolverines in January this season. “The one thing I’ve found from playing John’s teams is I always learn something. I just don’t want to learn something from a loss.
“We have obviously a lot of respect for him and a lot of respect for their program.”
Beilein may be trying to earn some national respect for the Big Ten Monday night, as the league hasn’t won a National Championship since Michigan State in 2000.