Top plays bottom in Big East

06 February 2018 20:20:03 GMTPlus11

The Villanova Wildcats take on the Red Storm of St. John's this week in what might have been a classic trap game for the team ranked first in the nation by the Associated Press.

Winners of nine straight and with a record of 22-1 on the campaign, the Wildcats will have been looking forward to avenging that lone defeat to Butler when they take on the Bulldogs on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Standing between the match-up against Butler and Villanova is the inconsequential game against St. John's on Wednesday.

At least that is no doubt the way the Wildcats will have been thinking of the contest against the Red Storm, regardless of the work of head coach Jay Wright and his staff.

It's fundamental human nature and it's why upsets often happen in the college basketball season prior to an important clash.

It's therefore somewhat ironic that Duke, one of Villanova's rivals for the national crown this season, did the Wildcats a huge favor when they went into Madison Square Garden over the weekend and were stunned by St. John's.

That more than any coaching will have got the attention of Villanova, who now know that Chris Mullin's side may be 0-11 in the Big East Conference, but a win cannot be taken for granted.

Still the Wildcats look a formidable opponent to all they play. Third in the nation in scoring, Villanova also faces Providence, Xavier, DePaul, Creighton, Seton Hall and Georgetown down the stretch before the Big East Tournament.

Anything other than a #1 seed would be a shock at this point, as the Wildcats look to win the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years.

Villanova are 1.90 to win the NCAAB Championship, with Duke 3001.00 and Arizona 3001.00.

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