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March 23, 2008

Fox: No practice? No problem for Villanova

MORE: Rivals.com NCAA Tourney Central | HIGHLIGHTS: Villanova moves to Sweet 16

TAMPA, Fla. The way Sunday went, Villanova might want to skip practice for the remainder of the week.

With a date in the Sweet 16 against No. 1 seed Kansas, that's not likely.

After an exhausting first-round win over Clemson on Friday, Jay Wright gambled by practicing Saturday for a grand total of 14 minutes seven minutes of stretching and seven minutes of free throws.

"It's stupid really when you think about it," Wright said.

Maybe not. Villanova star guard Scottie Reynolds, who said his feet were burning after beating the Tigers, turned in one of the best games of his career in an 84-72 win over Siena on Sunday.

Reynolds finished with 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists while being hounded by Siena's guards. He also disrupted the play of Siena point guard Ronald Moore, who guided the Saints' first-round upset of Vanderbilt.

After an unprecedented day of upsets at Tampa's St. Pete Times Forum, the one remaining basketball power in the subregional flexed its muscles against the tiny Franciscan Catholic school from Albany, N.Y.

The Wildcats were too big, too fast and too experienced on the big stage for the Saints. The guards did much of the scoring, with Corey Stokes adding 20 points, but the tone was set by Villanova's frontcourt of 6-6 forward Dwayne Anderson and center 6-8 Dante Cunningham.

Josh Duell (at 6 feet 7) was Siena's biggest player getting regular minutes, but he was more of a factor on the perimeter. He was 2-for-6 from the field, all on 3-pointers, and finished with four rebounds. Edwin Ubiles had 12 points and 12 rebounds.

"For the most part we controlled the boards," Anderson said. "They had an advantage, too, being quick, but we had some small guys we could sub in as well."

Villanova, one of the last teams to receive a bid to the tournament, advances to the Sweet 16 for third time in four years under Wright. The Wildcats (22-12) will face the Jayhawks in the Detroit regional semifinal.

Villanova is the first 12 seed to reach the Sweet 16 since Bruce Pearl's Wisconsin-Milwaukee team did so in 2005 by defeating Alabama and Boston College.

After defeating No. 4 seed Vanderbilt handily on Friday, Siena couldn't hang with the Wildcats. The Saints struggled early, missing 10 of their first 12 shots from the field. They never recovered from the early setbacks, shooting 35.7 percent for the game and making only two-thirds of their free throws.

Siena never came closer than 10 points for the final 26:49.

Kenny Hasbrouck, who scored 30 points against Vanderbilt, was held to 17 against Villanova.

"Out shots weren't falling and we weren't getting stops that we needed in the beginning of the game," Hasbrouck said. "Instead of trading baskets, they were stopping us and scoring on the other end."

MORE: Rivals.com NCAA Tourney Central | HIGHLIGHTS: Villanova moves to Sweet 16

David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dfox@rivals.com.

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