- Record: 1,779-935 (.655 Winning Percentage)
- NCAA Tournament Appearances: 39
- Final Fours: Six (1939, 1971, 1985, 2009, 2016, 2018)
- National Titles: Three (1985, 2016, 2018)
- Notable Alums: Ed Pinckney, Kerry Kittles, Kyle Lowry
There may not be a program rising up the blue blood ranks faster than Villanova, who prior to 2016 had one national championship and a solid but unspectacular track record in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats have always been a consistent winner, making the first Final Four back in 1939 and making the dance on a regular basis, but their most notable team had come in 1985.
That Villanova squad, coached by Rollie Massimino, pulled off one of the biggest upsets in March Madness history by slaying mighty Georgetown (sorry Hoyas fans) to claim the national championship. Those Wildcats were an 8-seed in the NCAA Tournament, and to this day they remain the lowest seeded team ever to cut down the nets.
The program remained a strong team in the Big East for years but didn’t become a top-tier title threat again until Jay Wright took over. Wright succeeded Steve Lappas in 2001 and built Villanova into a consistent tournament team, reaching the Elite Eight in 2006 and the Final Four in 2009, but after that, the Wildcats turned into paper tigers for a bit.
Despite constantly receiving high seeds in the NCAA Tournament, Villanova found ways to go out early, leading many to question whether Wright could take the Wildcats to the next level. That changed quickly as the Wildcats won the national championship in 2016 and 2018, earning Wright a place at the table as one of the best coaches in the country.
Villanova is a program on the rise and Wright has a loaded recruiting class coming to Philadelphia this year, so there’s a good shot the Wildcats could raise more banners in the near future. Don’t be shocked if the Wildcats crack the top 10 in a future version of this list.