Here’s part four of five of our week long series of looking back at Villanova’s top 10 moments of the past year:
4. Dante Cunningham is drafted 33rd overall by the Portland Trail Blazers- June 25, 2009
Anyone who claims to have seen this coming before the season was a liar. Cunningham had carved out a nice college career through his first three seasons but did not seem like a serious NBA prospect. Then came his senior season and things changed. Cunningham developed a lethal jump shot that caused a jump in scoring average, earning him the Big East’s Most Improved Player and making him the best player on Villanova’s Final Four team.
So far, Cunningham has seen several minutes per game as a bench player for Portland and is averaging 3.4 ppg and 2.4 rpg.
3. Villanova destroys basketball powers UCLA and Duke- Mar. 21 and Mar. 26, 2009
Part of the reason that made 2009 special for Villanova was who they played in the NCAA tournament. After defeating American, the Wildcats had the chance to take on the storied program of UCLA. While UCLA may have had the history, Villanova had the victory as they tore apart the Bruins in front of a raucous Philadelphia crowd, winning 89-69. Both Dante Cunningham and Dwayne Anderson had double-doubles for Villanova, and overall six Wildcats scored in double-figures.
Next up was a trip to the Sweet 16 where Duke was awaiting. After an evenly played first half, Villanova trounced the Blue Devils by outscoring them 51-31 in the game’s final minutes to win 77-54. Cunningham had another double-double while Scottie Reynolds led all scorers with 16 points. The Blue Devils shot just 26.7 percent from the field.
The two wins set up an Elite Eight matchup between Villanova and Pittsburgh.
I’m off to Boston, but here are the articles dealing with the game form this week’s issue: