VILLANOVA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Collin Gillespie scored 20 points, Eric Dixon hit a big 3-pointer late and second-seeded Villanova fended off seventh-seeded Ohio State 71-61 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.
The Wildcats (28-7) earned their eighth trip to the Sweet 16 under Jay Wright after surviving a second-half push from the Buckeyes (20-12), who trimmed a 15-point deficit to two before Villanova regained its footing.
As he and the team returned to campus Sunday night, Coach Jay Wright said his team is feeling good.
First, they'll be getting some rest before getting ready for Michigan.
Wright said several things contributed to them walking away with a win on Sunday.
"Leadership by Collin Gillespie, Jermaine Samuels, and Justin Moore, you know our three captains...they kept everybody together and we finished it off," said Wright.
Meanwhile, Nova Nation was celebrating the win all over campus.
"I'm feeling absolutely hype. Villanova is going to kill it. The country doesn't know what's coming. We're national champions already, that's how it is in my mind," said sophomore Joe Adams.
Students packed the Connelly Center to cheer on the team Sunday afternoon. The energy was nothing short of electric, even during some stressful moments of the game.
For one senior, the road to the championship is almost a full-circle moment for her.
"I remember watching the 2018 championship from home when I just had been accepted, and I just want us to make it to the end," said senior Gabriela Sarmiento.
It's not just the men's team looking to score a title, the women are too -- Michigan better watch out.
"They were both able to advance past the first round, and I want more attention to be brought to the women's team because they're really, really good," said junior Shannon Kauber.
Wright says he absolutely loves the support from Nova Nation.
"You just want to finish it off. You want to do the right things and make sure you finish it. You know you got plenty of time to celebrate. Crazy things have happened, especially in the NCAA tournament so you want to finish it off in the right way," Wright added.
The men's team takes on Michigan this Thursday at 7:29 p.m.
Maddy Siegrist and Villanova will try and pull off another upset when the Wildcats face Naz Hillmon and No. 4 seed Michigan in the second round of the women's NCAA Tournament Monday at 6 p.m.