Villanova happy to survive, looking to Round 2

"We're very happy to be alive another day in beautiful Providence," said Villanova coach Jay Wright. (AP Photo / Elise Amendola)

PROVIDNECE, R.I. -- Villanova lived another day in the NCAA Tournament with its come-from-behind overtime victory over Robert Morris in the first round on Thursday.

The second-seeded Wildcats were back at it in Providence, R.I., to get ready for tomorrow's game with 10th-seeded St. Mary's, of California. Game time is 1:05 p.m.

"We're very happy to be alive another day in beautiful Providence," coach Jay Wright said. "Usually we're up here and it's snowing and people are killing us. We have a great St. Mary's team to play. You always dread those kind of teams. We have a lot of work to do between tonight and now and tomorrow. I think it's going to be a great challenge."

"You always are what you are, what you see. You don't hide that from anybody in basketball. They watch film, they see it. And we are what we are. And we just try to get better every day in every way that we can. When you have one day in between you've got to make your choice on what you're going to work on. The only thing we know to do is keep teaching, keep practicing. That's all we can do."

The Wildcats have struggled in the first round in the NCAA Tournament and Wright sid he is not sure why. But regardless, the issue now is the second round.

"If you had told me in the beginning of the season this team would be in the second round and 25-7 I would have signed up for it," Wright said. "Everyone else was saying that we were like three or four (in the nation). I was like, wow. I was shocked at that. But I would have thought that to get here we would have had to be a lot better defensively than we are. We've got here a lot of of different ways. We won some games we shouldn't have won. And yesterday, you know. It's not the way we want our Villanova basketball teams to be yet. But they're working at it. I love how we're working at it. Things just don't work out the way you want all the time. That's what a season is. You find a way. And that's what this group is doing right now."

He did say, however, that examining Villanova's first-round problems would be on his agenda in the offseason.

"I think after the end of the season, we're going to take a look at that," Wright said. "Up until this point we've been just really worried about getting to the first round. So now that we've had some success I think we have a pretty good team coming back next year, I really do want to look at that."

Nova star Scottie Reynolds will be looking to bounce back from a 2-for-15 shooting performance in Round 1. Reynolds did come through late at the game at the free throw line to help the 'Cats get to overtime.

"Sometimes it's frustrating (to play poorly), but when you don't have the effort, that makes it even worse," Reynolds said. "When you have the effort, that's what gives you a chance, game in and game out, to be successful. I think yesterday was a good example of that. We played really hard, and if we were going to lose to Robert Morris there would have no been no shame in that because they played just as hard. When you give everything you have, that's all you can ask for as a player.

"A lot of people on the outside, it's hard for them to understand what's going on with our team. Because they don't have the full story. And that's OK with us. When we're on top when we're 20-1, everybody is praising us, we didn't ask for it. And when we lost 5 of 7, we didn't ask for the negativity. We had to take the bad with the good, and move on from it. There's no (extra) pressure."