By Peter Gleason

The tears have been flowing along the Main Line since about 9:30 last Saturday night, after Villanova lost in the Round of 32 to N. C. State.

jSince then, everyone from smart guys like Dick Jerardi to dopes like Howard Eskin have taken their turns explaining why the loss happened and how the Wildcats can go 29-5 and 33-3 in successive seasons and still come up short in March Madness.

Now, here is a truly objective view — Mark Titus from

Villanova had obvious flaws all season, most notably that it relied too much on outside shooting. What made it different from other perimeter-oriented teams, though, was that it always seemed to have a contingency plan. When jumpers weren’t falling, it could make something else work. All right, so we aren’t hitting. We’ll just play good D and pound the ball inside. We got this.

Saturday against NC State, Nova didn’t even try a plan B. Outside of its January game at Georgetown, Villanova had always played with poise when faced with adversity. But when there was still plenty of time left for the Wildcats to chip away at the Wolfpack’s lead, Villanova panicked, forced the action on offense, took stupid and unnecessary risks on defense, and kept trying to stick the same square peg through the same round hole.

I’m not surprised Villanova lost. NC State has plenty of talent, and the NCAA tournament is the most unpredictable sporting event in the world. I’m just surprised that after four months of being steady in big spots, the Wildcats played those last 10 minutes with incredibly tight buttholes.

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