Jay Wright reveals what winning a 2nd National Title means for his team, Villanova and Philly as a whole

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Hot off of the Wildcats winning their 2nd Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament in only three years, Villanova head coach Jay Wright joins Cris Carter, Nick Wright, and Jenna Wolfe to break down what was so memorable about this year's historic championship run, noting what it means for his players like Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges and 6th man standout Donte DiVincenzo, but also for the school and the city of Philadelphia as a whole.

- Welcome back to "First Things First." So, on Monday, Villanova won its second national title in three years. Jay Wright became one of three active coaches to have won multiple titles.

And he joins us this morning. Coach, good morning. Thank you for getting up and hanging out with us. And congratulations--

JAY WRIGHT: Good morning.

- --first off.

- Congratulations.

- I love having you on the show.

- This is awesome. Congrats.

JAY WRIGHT: Thank you, guys. Good to be with you.

- All right, Coach. Was there a different feel to this one, than the first one a few years ago? How do you compare the two?

JAY WRIGHT: Yeah, totally-- totally different. First time, you-- first of all, Kris Jenkins hits a shot the first time, you're in-- you're in shock. And, you know, it's-- it's complete pandemonium. And you hadn't done it before, so you don't know where to go. People are pulling you, go to the podium here, do this, do that.

This one, we got to get the-- the guys-- the starters off the court. You get a great, you know, special moment, there, with Phil Booth, Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson, our captains. That-- that's one of my favorite thing, that hug, when those guys come off the court, still in the middle of the game, is special.

And, then, you kind of know what you're doing, afterwards. So you really get to enjoy it. And one of my favorite things was we had all-- a lot of our former players, Tim Thomas, Kyrie Kittles, Reinhardt Chidiac, you know, Kris Jenkins, Josh Hart, Randy-- all those guys, up on the podium with us. That was-- that was really special.

- Coach, did it surprise you? Now, we had you in studio, here, before the Big East tournament, here in New York. Did it surprise you, though, that-- how this team came together, that you were able to dominate all six games in the tournament? I know, as a coach, there's a little more relief, at the end of the game, getting your starters in there, compared to getting a buzzer-beater. But did that give you more satisfaction, too, how mature, and how the team responded, during the tournament?

JAY WRIGHT: Well, I thought, when you started, when you said that it surprised you, I thought that you were going to say that I went back to the tie bar. Because, after you told me to go away from that--

- Oh, I'm going to get to that, later on, Coach.

JAY WRIGHT: I went away from it, but I had to go back. I'm sorry. But I'll answer your-- I want to answer your question. I-- yeah, now that it's over, it-- it really did surprise me, you know, how effective and efficient we were. When you're in it, as you know, as a player, you just-- you don't have time to, really, look back at the last game, because you're preparing for the next game.

And you always think that next game, you can get beat. So you're so focused on that. But, now that it's over, and you look back at the scores and the games, it really did surprise me.

But what it taught us is that we, actually, did get to-- we were playing our best basketball. I really feel like, after the last game, we were tired, but there was a part of us that thought, you know what? We could go back to working, keep getting better. We love this process of getting better.

- And-- and the way you guys won the national championship, it was, to me, it was perfect. Not just because you guys won it comfortably, but the best player in the country, this year, Jalen Brunson, doesn't have a great game. Amari Spellman doesn't have a great game.

And what happens? You guys, OK, all right, next man up, to a degree-- Donte DiVincenzo-- I know he's a sub. But he has been playing, essentially, starter's minutes, this year.

He comes in, not only does he have 18 in the first half-- the school I went to had a kid do that in the first half of the national championship, game one. It's Jerry McNamara. He had zero in the second half.

Donte came back out in the second half. You put him back in less than a minute in. And he has another 13 in the second half, some critical baskets, when Michigan seemed to trying to be getting within arm's reach of you guys.

How-- were you surprised by what Donte did? While you're watching it, the look on some of the faces of your players was, another shot? What was going through your head when you were watching what Donte did?

JAY WRIGHT: Well, you're right, Nick, about Ja-- Jalen was in foul trouble. And, as the beauty of our team, is Jalen didn't go into the national championship game saying, OK, I'm National Player of the Year. I want to-- I want to get mine, you know. He went into the game saying, we got to defend and rebound. He was-- he was, really, leading us, defensively.

Mikal Bridges got hurt. He got a knee into his hip about five minutes into the game. And we weren't really sure he was going to be able to continue. And he just defended, and rebounded, and did the little things-- still got 19-- the quietest 19 points, ever.

But Donte has done that for us during the season. There was a game we played Butler where Eric Pascal was out of the game. He was hurt. He didn't-- he didn't play, that game. Phil Booth had a broken hand.

And Donte had 30. He had-- he almost had a triple-double, 39 and nine. And, so, no one on our team was really surprised, because, like you said, he-- he played starter minutes all year.

He was our sixth starter. But there's still a part of you that, when you're watching him do it in the national championship game, it's-- it's like-- it's unbelievable. It's pretty magical.