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Villanova sends Texas Tech packing in Boston, as the Wildcats advance to the Final Four for the second time in three years, and are the team to watch heading to San Antonio.

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The Wildcats have been strong all season, earning their first seed in the East, however they brought something different to the Elite 8 this weekend  – Defensive Game.

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With the destructive offensive talent Villanova has in their run for the championship at this point has been based on primarily outscoring their opponent.

 “We were afraid we might run out of time,” said Villanova head coach Jay Wright. “We had to keep practicing to get better defensively and rebounding-wise. And it’s specifically gratifying to see 33 percent and outrebounding them in the biggest game so far. That’s truly gratifying.”

When did Villanova realize they had to make a change?

There was a pivotal turning point that forced the Wildcats to take a hard look in the mirror, and that was in Villanova’s last meeting with Butler in February prior to the tournament.

“In the Butler game, we started the game that way, just giving up buckets and trying to outscore them,” said Wright. “So that kind of was a slap in the face to us.”

As the Wildcats noticed their defensive play gap, it has given them a true challenge and something to work for as they strive for their third title.

“[Coach] just kept saying, if we keep winning, we have a chance to keep getting better,” said Villanova’s Jalen Brunson. “That’s what “survive and advance” means. We’re getting better. As soon as we get back to campus, in the film room, on the court, we’re recovering, and we’re going to get better.”

As Villanova combines their newly found defensive stride with their lethal offense, they may be the team to beat at the Final Four.

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