This is the end for Villanova. The Wildcats will hear their name called on Selection Sunday, most likely as a double-digit seed, but the NCAA tournament will be merely a formality.
Villanova's season is over. Its confidence is in tatters. It is a team that is afraid to lose, and those teams don't win in the big dance. The Wildcats show up, try hard, lose, and go home, which is precisely where Villanova was headed Tuesday night after the first round of the Big East tournament. A 70-69 loss to the 15th-seeded South Florida Bulls ensured that.
The Wildcats have made losing a way of life these last few weeks, and on Tuesday night they found a new way to lose, blowing a 16-point halftime lead to a 10-22 South Florida team that had beaten just two Big East teams all season. Villanova made just four field goals in the second half and scored just 20 points. The Wildcats lost their composure in the final minute, missing free throws and turning the ball over and not defending.
They completely crumbled. That is what fragile teams do. Now, Villanova's losing streak is at five.