Observations: Ryan Arcidiacono is at the core of Villanova’s revival

The season before Ryan Arcidiacono stepped on campus, Villanova went 13-19 and had completely lost their culture.

The Wildcats had stopped sacrificing the “me” for “we” and that was having a major impact where it mattered most: the win-loss column.

Then Jay Wright handed the ball to Arcidiacono as a freshman and the rest is history.

The senior point guard is a combined 115-27 during his four-year career on the Main Line and now has the Wildcats in the Final Four for the first time since 2009 and for the second time in Wright’s career.

Arcidiacono only has two turnovers in his last 97 minutes of action and has been at the core of everything for Villanova during this memorable run to the sport’s grandest showcase.

It will be interesting to see what he does for an encore in Houston.

DaJuan Coleman has to be the old DaJuan Coleman against North Carolina

Is that still possible?

It doesn’t seem likely, but for Syracuse to have a chance to advance to the national title game it needs Coleman to turn back the clock.

The 6-foot-9, 255 pound big man was once one of the best high school prospects in the country and has battled a plethora of injuries that have limited his production during his collegiate career.

Still, in order for the Orange to have a chance Saturday against the Tar Heels it needs Coleman to be a factor on the glass.

Tyler Roberson and Tyler Lydon are going to be undersized and perhaps too slender against North Carolina’s massive front line of Brice Johnson, Kennedy Meeks, Isaiah Hicks, and Joel James.

Syracuse needs a seven-point, seven-rebound type effort from Coleman to have a chance to pull the upset on Saturday in Houston.

West Virginia will need a new face to emerge in the front court

Devin Williams’ surprising decision to enter the 2016 NBA Draft means that the Mountaineers have a big void to fill in the middle next season.

The 6-9, 255 pound big man hasn’t officially signed with an agent, but sources told CBS Sports that is the likely way this situation is headed.

Williams averaged 13.3 points and 9.5 rebounds this past season for West Virginia and had he returned, the Mountaineers would have likely been a top-five team to start next year.

Now that won’t be the case, but it does open the door for guys like Elijah Macon (4.5 points, 3.0 rebounds) and incoming freshman Sagaba Konate (6-8, 235) to immediately produce on the baseline.

There’s now major minutes available in West Virginia’s front court.

The new NBA Draft rules are going to be absolutely brutal on coaches

Let me say this: I understand why these rules are beneficial for the players that are involved in the process.

There is value in going through NBA draft workouts as well as the combine.

But there is also another side of this and that’s the fact that there are coaches out there who have to attempt to put together rosters for next season with the status of some of their top players in limbo.

Prospects who declare for the NBA Draft without securing the services of an agent have until May 25 before they decide whether or not they will return to school.

That means that coaches will have to sit on scholarships for the next two months in case their best players opt to return to school, but that also means that those same coaches won’t be able to potentially add a graduate transfer or JUCO prospect who could replace the key player they’re losing because they may not have an extra available scholarship.

Like I said: the new NBA Draft rules are going to be absolutely brutal on coaches.

The 2016 NCAA Tournament will be remembered for its epic collapses

You don’t always want to dwell on the negatives, but this particular episode of March Madness has had several brutal meltdowns.

USC’s loss to Providence in the first round was a loss that will stay with the Trojans’ players for a lifetime and that was usurped by Northern Iowa’s unfathomable double-overtime loss to Texas A&M in the second round.

Then Wisconsin lost a three-point lead with under 30 seconds to play in the Sweet 16 against Notre Dame by exuding the exact opposite type of characteristics that have made the Badgers’ program so renowned over the years.

And finally, Virginia led Syracuse by 15 points with a little over nine minutes to go in last Sunday’s Elite Eight game before falling by six.

The 2016 NCAA Tournament: a tournament of epic collapses.

Ryan Arcidiacono helped turn things around for Villanova.(USATSI)
Ryan Arcidiacono helped turn things around for Villanova. (USATSI)


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