PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was last Saturday when Villanova’s season came to a stunning end in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. It is clear the Wildcats still have some healing to do.
Members of the Villanova Men’s Basketball team gathered at their practice facility on Monday. The Wildcats were hoping last week this day would be a practice day with the team getting ready for the Sweet 16. However, an upset loss to N.C. State ended the Wildcats season and players such as Phil Booth admit the hurt hasn’t subsided.READ MORE: Man Accused Of Entering Center City Law Firm Office, Sexually Assaulting Victim
“It’s all in my head right now,” said Booth. “Something like that, you don’t just forget about in a couple of days. It’s going to stay with me for a while. We’re all hurting right now from that loss.”
Many of the other Wildcats expressed similar feelings on a day the team got together to meet with their head coach. Jay Wright tried to put a positive spin on the sudden end to the season, but said he and his players must take responsibility for their early NCAA Tournament exit.
“There’s no problem in failing unless you blame somebody else,” Wright said. “It’s on us, and we’ve got to get it done. Also, I want us to learn from it and I want us to grow. I want it to somehow impact us positively for next year.”READ MORE: Kensington Shooting Leaves 17-Year-Old Girl, Man Injured: Philadelphia Police
Ryan Arcidiacono will get another chance at the tournament next year. the junior guard it also trying to dwell on the positives while understanding the reputation he and his teammates have earned on the national level.
“It’s tough,” said Arcidiacono. “Everyone expects us to do well in the tournament. We just tried to play well throughout the season. I think we did that. We can’t judge ourselves just on the NCAA Tournament. That’s how the outside world will view us, but we know how successful our season was.”
JayVaughn Pinkston and Darrun Hilliard won’t get another chance. The two seniors have played their last game at Villanova and will leave two holes in the starting lineup for next season. Hilliard, who scored 27 points in the loss, must not only put the defeat behind him, but also adjust to life after basketball at Villanova.MORE NEWS: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson To Resign After Mutiny In His Party
“It’s been tough,” Hilliard said. “You kind of don’t know what to do with yourself at three o’clock when practice usually is. Not getting that text of what the days is looking like is kind of different.”