Villanova will go through this first season of the reimagined Big East with a bull’s-eye on its back. The Wildcats are the only team in the conference that is nationally ranked (No. 8) and thus the best opportunity other Big East teams have to improve their NCAA Tournament profile with a signature win.

Such wins were of enormous importance last season for the ’Cats. Though they ended their regular season 20-14 (10-8 Big East) and had bad losses to Columbia and Alabama, they had conference wins against Louisville, Syracuse and Georgetown when each was ranked No. 5 or higher.

It’s still early but in the Big East only Villanova (15-1), Creighton and Xavier have played like tourney selections. The conference’s 3-12 record against ranked nonconference foes includes two Villanova victories and one by Georgetown over a VCU team that fell out of the rankings.

Big East coaches are steadfast that the conference will be one of the best, but there don’t seem to be many opportunities for resume-building wins.

Villanova coach Jay Wright pointed out that the Big East is the third strongest conference, according to the RPI, that six teams were in the top-60 entering last week and that none was worse than 130.

“Our RPI is not going to change because all we’re doing is playing each other now,” he said. “The fourth and fifth team might have an RPI that gets them in. They might not have a lot of great wins, but they could have a lot of good wins. Then you look at that team, they pass the eye test and they’re getting in.

“It’s not ‘might be.’ It’s going to be.”