NEWARK, N.J. — Jay Wright doesn't follow who is in the running for national player of the year. However, the Villanova coach thinks he has the best player in the country in senior guard Josh Hart.
After Saturday's career-best performance, it would be hard to argue.
"He's as good as any player in the country is, and he's so complete. He will do whatever it takes to win a game and he has the ability to do it and at the right time," Wright said. "He got big rebounds at the end of the game. He got offensive rebounds, he scored, he made passes, he made free throws, he defended. He did everything. He's as complete a player as we've ever had."
Hart scored a career-high 37 and No. 1 Villanova rallied from an 11-point deficit to beat No. 23 Notre Dame 74-66 on Saturday at the Prudential Center.
"I honestly didn't know how many points I had. I was just trying to make the right play," Hart said, later adding, "I want to be great. I want to be as good as Josh Hart can be, and I have no idea how good that is, but I'm going to try and figure out."
Hart was the only Villanova (10-0) player to score in double figures. He was 10-of-14 from the field, including 3-of-4 on 3-pointers, and he made all 14 of his free throws.
Matt Farrell and Steve Vasturia had 18 points each for Notre Dame (9-1), which entered the game as one of eight remaining unbeaten Division I-A teams.
Villanova took its first lead at 57-56 after Eric Paschall blocked Vasturia's 3-pointer with 9:15 left. Hart assisted on a layup by Jalen Brunson at 9:09 to put the Wildcats ahead.
The teams exchanged the lead from there until Villanova pulled away in the final minute.
NO. 2 UCLA 102, MICH. 84: T.J. Leaf scored 21, fellow freshman Lonzo Ball added 19 and the host Bruins (10-0) shot 67 percent and made 15 3-pointers, just off the school-record 18 they had in their season opener against Pacific.
NO. 3 KANSAS 89, NEBRASKA 72: Frank Mason III had 18 points and seven assists without a turnover, Josh Jackson and Svi Mykhailiuk added 15 points each and the Jayhawks (9-1) beat the Cornhuskers for the 18th straight time and 46th in a row at Allen Fieldhouse.
NO. 5 DUKE 94, UNLV 45: Grayson Allen shot 75 percent from the field, including 7-of-7 in the second half, en route to a career-high 34 points for the Blue Devils (10-1) in the first college basketball game ever played at T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
NO. 8 GONZAGA 61, AKRON 43: Przemek Karnowski scored 14 for the host Bulldogs (10-0), who won a defensive battle and are off to the best start in program history.
NO. 9 INDIANA 103, HOUSTON BAPTIST 61: James Blackmon Jr. scored 18 and Robert Johnson added 16 for the host Hoosiers (8-1), who outrebounded the Huskies 45-31.
UCF 76, MD.-EASTERN SHORE 58: Matt Williams had 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead the host Knights (7-1) to their fourth straight win.
B-CU 81, FLORIDA COLLEGE 79, OT: Brandon Tabb scored 22 as the host Wildcats (3-7) survived a scare from the Falcons (3-9), a USCAA Christian school playing a rare game against a Division I team.
NO. 2 N. DAME 75, NO. 16 DEPAUL 61: Arike Ogunbowale scored 13 of her 17 in the first quarter to help the visiting Irish (9-1) cruise past the Blue Demons (6-3).
NO. 5 MISS. ST. 72, SO. MISS 50: Breanna Richardson scored a season-high 19, Chinwe Okorie added 18 and the visiting Bulldogs (9-0) never trailed, taking a 21-6 lead by the end of the first quarter.
NO. 7 FSU 93, UAB 47: Brittany Brown scored 17 on 7-of-11 shooting for the visiting Seminoles (10-1), who outrebounded the Blazers 49-20 and never trailed.