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The History of Villanova Basketball from Wikipedia.
This is the article about the men's basketball team from Villanova University. The team has competed since the 1920–21 season. Nicknamed the "Wildcats", Villanova is a member of the Big East Conference and the Philadelphia Big Five. The Villanova Wildcats have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 30 times, the 8th highest total in NCAA history. They made the Final Four and were National Champions in 1985. Villanova has appeared in the NIT 17 times, winning in 1994, and won the Big East Tournament in 1995. Villanova entered the 2007-2008 season with an all-time winning percentage of .637, placing the Wildcats 20th among all NCAA Division I basketball programs.
Villanova began its varsity basketball program in 1920. Michael Saxe coached for six seasons, from 1920–1926, compiling a 64–30 record (.681). John Cashman coached three seasons, from 1926–1929, compiling a 21–21 record (.447). George Jacobs coached seven seasons, from 1929–1936, and had a 62–56 record (.525).
The team played its first game in 1920 in Alumni Hall on Villanova's campus, beating Catholic University 43–40. In the early years, Villanova's home courts were Alumni Hall and West Catholic High School. The Wildcats moved into the Villanova Field House (now known as the Jake Nevin Field House) in 1932. Villanova also played many home games at the Palestra on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania beginning in 1929. The Wildcats played home games in both the Villanova Field House and the Palestra until 1986.
Alexander Severance coached Villanova for 25 seasons, from 1936 to 1961. It was under the leadership of Coach Severance that Villanova's basketball program rose to prominence. Severance compiled a 413–201 record (.673).
The 1938-39 team won the first ever NCAA Tournament game, which put them in the inaugural Final Four. Severance led the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament again. Villanova earned NIT bids in 1959 and 1960.
The most storied player in Villanova history, Paul Arizin, played during this era. Severance discovered Arizin, already a Villanova student, playing basketball in the Villanova Fieldhouse. Arizin holds the Villanova record for most points in a game (85), and is credited with inventing the jump shot and was the 1949 College Player of the Year. Other notable players from the Severance era include Joe Lord, Larry Hennessy, Bob Schafer and George Raveling.
Coincidentally, Al Severance died in 1985 on the same day that Villanova upset Georgetown University and Patrick Ewing to take the NCAA basketball championship.
The inaugural NCAA Tournament featured eight teams from throughout the country. Villanova, representing the Middle Atlantic States, beat Brown, representative of the New England States, 43–40 before a crowd of 3,500 at the Palestra.
Villanova Basketball is located in the state of Pennsylvania.
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