Villanova college basketball championships: Complete history |

    nov. 24, 1984 — Villanova 80, Vermont 56

    villanova opened the 1984-85 season on the road against vermont, where villanova coach rollie massimino played in college, and approximately 300 wildcats fans were in attendance as villanova won his 1,000th game in program history . “I’m very happy it’s over,” Massimino said, according to Rutland’s Daily Herald. “It’s been a tough one with the alumni and stuff all here to see us pick up the 1,000th. It was especially nice for me to do it here in Vermont, where I played my college basketball.”

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    ed pinckney had just two shots and two points in the first half, but he made the first two baskets of the second half, by design, and finished with 15 points.

    nov. 28, 1984 — Villanova 56, Marist 51

    Marist led Villanova at halftime 30-27 in front of a crowd of 3,761 fans, but the Wildcats switched to a box-and-one defense against Marist guard Steve Eggink in the second half. The Wildcats opened the second half on a 15-4 run and ran a “four corner spread” offense to keep the Red Foxes at bay. “We didn’t rebound like we should and we didn’t go out there and pressure them on their shots like we should,” Rollie Massimino said, according to the Poughkeepsie newspaper.

    Dec. 1, 1984 — villanova 68, temple 65

    dwayne mcclain scored the game-winning basket with three seconds left after he returned teammate harold pressley’s missed shot. McClain finished with a game-high 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting with eight rebounds and five assists. Villanova controlled the boards 42-28 and more than a quarter of the baskets made by the Wildcats were on second-chance opportunities.

    Dec. 7, 1984 — villanova 77, monmouth 62

    Rollie Massimino improved to 54-8 at Villanova Field, but the game wasn’t as lopsided as the final score would suggest. Villanova led by just three, 56-53, in the last eight minutes. But the Wildcats started the game on a 16-4 run and then went on an 18-6 run that allowed them to beat Monmouth behind Ed Pinckney’s game-high 26 points.

    Dec. January 15, 1984 — Villanova 80, Penn 67

    villanova scored 15 straight points in the first half to lead 47-27 at halftime as the wildcats dropped their second big opponent in the span of three games behind ed pinckney and harold pressley scoring 19 points apiece.


    Dec. 21, 1984 — villanova 63, drexel 55

    Dec. 22, 1984 — villanova 80, room 63

    villanova faced a hometown team without rebounding leader albert butts as outside shooter steve black left the game with an injury and guard chip greenberg fouled out. bobcats never crawled. they led by five points at halftime and opened the second half with an 11-2 run. “Our game plan was to take it right to them,” Rollie Massimino said, according to the Philadelphia investigator.

    Dec. 28, 1984 — villanova 91, byu 61

    Playing Atlanta in the Cotton Stakes Classic, Villanova trailed only once, 6-5, before scoring eight points and holding a 14-point lead. the Wildcats, after shooting better than 59 percent in the first 20 minutes, led by as many as 41 points in the second half. Four Villanova players scored at least 15 points, led by Dwight Wilbur’s 20 points.

    dec. 29, 1984 — georgia 75, villanova 68 (ot, first loss)

    ed pinckney had 22 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out as villanova lost its season opener to georgia in overtime at the omni. Pinckney fouled out seconds after teammate Harold Pressley did, leaving the Wildcats one win away from their first 8-0 start in 20 years. “There’s a lesson to be learned here,” Rollie Massimino said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    january. 2, 1985 — Villanova 82, Syracuse 70

    playing no. 5 Syracuse in her big East start, Villanova found herself deadlocked at 38 at halftime before pulling away in the second half. Dwayne McClain’s basket gave Villanova a 61-60 lead and the Wildcats were never far behind. Ed Pinckney took just five shots but scored 13 points. “I don’t want to go out with things on my mind that shouldn’t be there,” Pinckney said, according to the Philadelphia Newspaper. “just like syracuse being in fifth place and us not being ranked before this game. we didn’t need that to cheer us up. we were ready anyway.”

    january. 5, 1985 — villanova 70, uconn 59 (ot)

    villanova played his second overtime contest in a three-game streak, except this time the wildcats won after uconn’s eddie williams tied the game at the end of regulation. dwayne mcclain scored 23 points to lead villanova.

    january. 7, 1985 — street. john’s 76, villanova 71

    st. John’s star Chris Mullin scored 20 points as the Red Storm improved to 11-1 on the season, handing Villanova their first big loss in the East of the 1984-85 campaign.

    january. 12, 1985 — georgetown 52, villanova 50 (ot)

    Playing undefeated with Georgetown (for the first of three times during the season), Villanova fell by just two points in another overtime game. Dwayne McClain was just 6-for-23 from the field as Georgetown center Patrick Ewing made it difficult for the Wildcats to get clean looks. Villanova had an eight-point lead, but only scored nine points in the first 15 1/2 minutes of the second half, going almost 14 minutes with a field goal and committing five straight turnovers in one point.

    “Are the undefeated Hoyas the most overwhelming defensive team in the nation this year, perhaps in years, simply because of a 7-foot shot-blocking center named Patrick Ewing?” wrote phil anastasia from the messenger.

    january. 15, 1985 – villanova 85, university of boston 66

    villanova eliminated no. 15 Boston College behind Harold Pressley’s 22 points on 9-for-13 shooting with eight rebounds as the Wildcats won their 18th straight game at Villanova Field.

    january. 19, 1985 — Villanova 86, Seton Room 74

    villanova needed just seven minutes to build a double-digit lead and the wildcats led as many as 21 points behind dwayne mcclain’s 23 points on 9-of-10 shooting. “The score was not an indication of the game,” Seton Hall coach P.J. Carlesimo said, as recorded in the minutes. “rollie [massimino] and the coaches at villanova were very nice to us.”

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    january. 23, 1985 — villanova 65, providence 57

    Playing in the arena, Villanova was once again led by Dwayne McClain, who scored 18 points, including 10 in a span of four minutes. “The notoriety never bothered me,” McClain said, according to the Philadelphia Newspaper. “The coach knows I can play. My teammates know I can play. If I gain notoriety, that’s fine, but it’s not a big concern for me.”

    january. 27, 1985 — maryland 77, villanova 74

    Playing at Maryland, Villanova fell by three despite Ed Pinckney’s career-high 29 points and 16 rebounds. “If Eddie Pinckney had told me before the game that he was going to score 29 points, he would have said we would have won,” he Massimino said. But Maryland’s Len Bias scored 30 points, prompting Maryland’s coach, Lefty Driesell, to say it was the best he had ever seen Bias play.

    january. 29, 1985 — villanova 70, pittsburgh 63

    villanova stymied the defense during a critical stretch of the second half, keeping pitt scoreless for more than 5 1/2 minutes, and the wildcats forced the panthers’ starting shooting guards to commit 13 turnovers. “We spent a lot of time working defense Monday,” Dwight Wilbur said. “I think that’s the key to our whole season.”

    Feb. 1, 1985 — Syracuse 92, Villanova 79

    Playing in Syracuse in front of the largest on-campus crowd in Orange history (32,520 fans), Villanova fell by 13 as six Syracuse players scored in double figures, led by Dwayne Washington’s 25 points. Ed Pinckney scored 23 points, but Harold Pressley was just 4 of 13 for eight points and Dwayne McClain was 4 of 10 for nine points.

    Feb. 5, 1985 — villanova 79, uconn 71

    senior dwayne mcclain spent the lead up to the villanova rematch with uconn watching a replay of the schools first meeting and was told by villanova assistant coach mitch buonaguro to be more aggressive the second time. McClain scored 23 points on 10-for-12 shooting as Uconn played a 2-3 zone to combat Ed Pinckney’s inside presence.

    Feb. 9, 1985 — street. john’s 70, villanova 68

    villanova fell to no. 1st John’s by two points as the Johnnies set the Big East record with 11 straight conference wins. Villanova led 41-33 early in the second half, but after Chris Mullin had four points on four shots in the first half, he had 17 in the second half, including 12 in the final six minutes. “[villanova] is not the best team or the most talented”, st. John’s trainer, Lou Carnesecca, said, “But they’re the hardest, the way they strip you down on the inside and the way they play defense.”

    Feb. 11, 1985 — georgetown 57, villanova 50

    For the second time all season, Villanova lost back-to-back games (both times against St. John’s and Georgetown in back-to-back games). the wildcats had now lost three of four, but all three were against top 10 teams, including no. 1st john’s and no. 2 georgetown. “It’s getting really frustrating,” Harold Pressley said, according to the post.

    Feb. Jan 16, 1985: boston college 62, villanova 61

    villanova’s slump was made worse when the wildcats blew an 11-point lead in the final 10 minutes when boston college won on a layup by michael adams. Villanova had beaten Boston College by 19 points earlier in the season. The Wildcats held onto the ball for the final shot, but Harold Pressley’s game-winning attempt missed the mark.

    Feb. 19, 1985 — villanova 47, c/. the 44 of joseph

    villanova’s three-fight losing streak and four losses in five games nearly went off the rails, but dwayne mcclain’s baseline jumper, his second of the season and fifth in two years, gave the wildcats a much needed win. “This one means a little more than the others,” McClain said, according to the post.

    Feb. 23, 1985 — villanova 88, providence 82

    Coached by seniors Harold Pressley and Ed Pinckney, who scored 25 and 21 points, respectively, Villanova built an 18-point lead, watched it dwindle to one, then held on free throws in the final moments.

    Feb. 27, 1985 — Villanova 80, Seton Room 75

    In the final game at the 52-year-old Villanova Field House, the Wildcats handed the Seton Hall Pirates their 15th straight loss. “villanova, who has stumbled down the stretch in some close games this season, found a way to win this one,” phil anastasia wrote of the messenger.

    March 2, 1985 — pittsburgh 85, villanova 62

    pitt shot 59 percent in the first half and 60 percent in the second, and with 17:20 remaining, villanova coach rollie massimino pulled his starters as the panthers’ lead increased to 64 -32, and the Wildcats lost by 23. “I told them [at halftime] I’d give them three more minutes to play and if they didn’t play as well as I wanted, they’d walk out,” Massimino said.

    March 7, 1985 (big east tournament) — villanova 69, pittsburgh 61

    one game and five days after pittsburgh ran them off the court when villanova coach rollie massimino waved the white flag and retired their starters, the wildcats beat the panthers by seven in their first game in the big east tournament “As a matter of fact, we came back from Pittsburgh last week confident,” Dwight Wilbur said, according to the Pittsburgh Press. “To be a good team, you have to know that you are a good team. That’s how we feel every day.”

    March 8, 1985 (big east tournament) — st. john’s 89, villanova 74

    villanova lost in the big east tournament semifinals in what would turn out to be their last loss of the season when the wildcats fell to st. john’s for the third time this season. Ed Pinckney led Villanova with 27 points and the Wildcats cut the deficit to five with 10 minutes remaining by scoring eight straight points, but they never got closer than that. phil anastasia of the courier-post wrote after the game that “the wildcats, however, will probably still receive an overall berth in the ncaa tournament.”

    March 15, 1985 (ncaa tournament) — no. 8 villanova seed 51, no. 9 seed dayton 49

    Playing in a first-round NCAA tournament game on the opponent’s home court, Villanova outscored Dayton 51-49 in a game of 8/9. Ed Pinckney led all scorers with 20 points and the player guarding him, Dayton’s Jeff Zern, fouled out with more than seven minutes remaining. Villanova’s biggest lead was four points, 41-37, and the Wildcats trailed 49-47 before rallying for victory.

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    March 17, 1985 (ncaa tournament) — no. 8 villanova seed 59, no. 1 michigan 55 seed

    Playing nearly impenetrable zone defense and playing quick on offense, Villanova stunned world no. 1 seed michigan after wolverines barely beat no. 16 fairleigh dickinson seeds. “They looked a little tentative on defense Friday against Fairleigh Dickinson, so we wanted to go head-to-head with them,” Dwayne McClain said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We were giving up about 20 pounds per player on the front row, but the speed can negate that.” McClain scored 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. a tough schedule from the great east paid off in the form of a big surprise in March.

    “I would like to see another team that had to play five times against the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country,” Villanova coach Rollie Massimino said.

    March 22, 1985 (ncaa tournament) — no. 8 villanova seed 46, no. 5 maryland seed 43

    After losing by three points at Maryland in late January, Villanova got revenge in a low-scoring affair, winning by three in the Sweet 16. “They threw bricks from the perimeter, scratched and scraped under the boards, played some of the ugliest basketball players in the southeast, or any region,” wrote filip bondy of the new york daily news.

    Villanova’s Ed Pinckney finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds, including 13 points in the second half, while holding Len Bias to eight points on 4-of-13 shooting. “Our motto all week in practice was, ‘no balloons,'” Villanova’s coach Rollie Massimino said, according to the New York Daily News. “We had to know where Bias was all the time. Pinckney and Pressley caught him when he was down, and our wings caught him when he was on the perimeter.”

    The following is from the New York Daily News.

    Despite Villanova shooting under 37 percent, the Wildcats built an 11+ advantage on the boards and held the Terrapins to an 0-for-10 start from the field in the second half with three turnovers. ball.

    March 24, 1985 (ncaa tournament) — no. 8 villanova seed 56, no. 2 north carolina seed 44

    villanova beat no. 2 North Carolina by 12 points in the elite eight (his other five NCAA tournament wins came by a combined 18 points) for his biggest tournament win based on margin of victory. Ed Pinckney, Dwayne McClain and Gary McClain made their freshman pact to take Villanova into the final four a reality. The Wildcats trailed 22-17 at halftime but exploded with 39 points in the second half on 16-of-21 shooting after shooting just 6-of-26 in the first half.

    [Villanova’s trainer, Rollie Massimino] really got us,” Harold Pressley said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He reminded us of how hard we’d worked to get here, and said he couldn’t believe we’d let it all slip away. so easily.”

    after villanova led 2-0, the wildcats didn’t lead again until the score was 27-26. “They made 12 of 17 shots [to start the second half],” North Carolina coach Dean Smith said. “So we had to start chasing them. That’s not really the strength of this team.”

    March 30, 1985 (ncaa tournament) — no. 8 villanova seed 52, no. 2 seed memphis 45

    villanova’s defense did well, sometimes triple-teaming memphis state american center keith lee, 6-10, with guard harold jensen trailing at times and center ed pinckney leading. he confused memphis and on occasion even the villanova players themselves. but it worked. “I couldn’t figure it out,” Villanova’s Harold Pressley said, according to the Palm Beach Post. “Couldn’t describe what kind of defenses we were on.”

    memphis state drew 23 fouls to villanova’s 13 and lee scored just 10 points. “We played great defense down the stretch,” Rollie Massimino said.

    April 1, 1985 (ncaa tournament) — no. 8 villanova seed 66, no. 1 georgetown 64 seed

    After falling to georgetown by two points, then seven, in two regular-season meetings, Villanova cruised to an unlikely two-point win over Hoyas to win the national championship. The Wildcats shot an incredible 22-for-28 from the field, 78.6 percent, forcing Georgetown out of their zone defense. They attempted only 10 shots in the second half and made nine of them while Villanova managed the pace as she had in every NCAA tournament in the pre-shot clock era.

    “No one thought we could do it, but I did it, and the players did it,” Villanova’s coach Rollie Massimino said, according to the Philadelphia Investigator. The Wildcats limited Patrick Ewing to 14 points in the final game of his college career and he scored just two points in the final 13 minutes, without a free throw attempt the entire game.

    dwayne mcclain was 5-for-7 shooting for 17 points, while harold jensen was 5-for-5 for 14 points and ed pinckney added 16 points.

    watch the full game replay below ⤵️

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