West Virginia player eavesdrops on Villanova huddle as Sweet 16 game gets chippy

It didn’t take long for Villanova’s Sweet 16 game against West Virginia to get chippy on Friday night. In fact, the chippiness didn’t even wait for the opening tip. A pregame confrontation set the tone for a physical, combative battle.

The chippiness didn’t quite boil over in the first half. But it rose to the surface during a stoppage in play as Villanova huddled around coach Jay Wright. West Virginia’s Sagaba Konate sauntered over to the huddle and looked on before Nova players noticed:

Phil Booth and a member of the Nova staff pushed Konate away. Booth and Omari Spellman both exchanged words with the Mountaineers’ forward.

There’s nothing illegal about what Konate did. But it obviously isn’t within the unwritten rules of basketball.

Trash-talking seemed to heat up throughout the first half. As it did, and after the Konate incident, TBS showed video of the pregame confrontation.

During warmups, with the teams walking back to their respective benches, players from either team made physical contact with one another and jawed back and forth:

Villanova struggled with West Virginia’s press early on, but led 44-42 at halftime.

“It’s complete chaos out there,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright told TBS before heading into the locker room.

in the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament East Regional at TD Garden on March 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.

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