On the verge of history . . .
Before the NCAA Tournament started, we chronicled some of the many NCAA Tournament accomplishments of Villanova’s Phil Booth . . . After Thursday’s gritty win, we have updated some of them . . . and hope to have to do the same next week . . .
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First, the biggie . . .
Move over, Bobby, Antonio and the Hills . . . Make room for some company.
Villanova’s win over Saint Mary’s Thursday was the 13th consecutive NCAA Tournament win in which Phil Booth participated. Remember, he was out with a knee injury after three games of the 2016-17 season, so he did not play in the Wildcats’ two Tourney games that season (win over Mount St. Mary’s and a loss to Wisconsin). Since the 2015 Round-of-32 loss to North Carolina State, Booth has no idea what it is like on the losing side of the post-game handshake line.
Six wins in 2016 (and the last one an Instant Classic), six more last season and Thursday’s wins makes 13 NCAA wins in a row, tying the record:
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Here are some other updates to Booth’s NCAA resume we highlighted earlier in the week, with some additional things to consider:
>>> Villanova is now 63-7 in the 70 games Booth has played against non-Big East opponents . . . He is 6-1 all-time against the Big Ten. The Cats face Purdue Saturday and could have Iowa and Wisconsin in their South Regional path should they advance.
>>> He missed his first free throw of the game Thursday, snapping his streak of 16 consecutive foul shots made in NCAA Tournament play . . . He then proceeded to nail his last five.
>>> He committed two turnovers, bringing his career Big Dance total to 15 in 15 games covering 355 minutes.
>>> He entered Thursday’s game with nice, even NCAA Career totals of 17 two-point field goals, 17 three-point field goals and 17 free throws made . . . Against Saint Mary’s he had 6 twos, 1 three and 5 from the charity stripe. (He’ll have to work on that Saturday.)
>>> Villanova is now 25-2 in postseason tournament games with Booth (11-1 Big East, 14-1 NCAA).