Villanova has only lost to two teams this season. One of those teams is the No. 1 team in the country. The other team, Big East foe Creighton, dismantled the Wildcats twice and made them look as vulnerable as ever. Then Jay Wright's scrappy group goes on the road and clips a Providence team fighting for its NCAA tournament life in two overtimes. OK, so we know Villanova (23-3, 11-2) struggles against Creighton but the Bluejays happen to have the best player in the country on their roster (dude went for 39 on Sunday vs. the 'Cats) which leads to one of the nation's most potent offenses. We also know this team knows how to play with a never-say-die attitude and win in extra periods. The Wildcats have played in four OT games this season and won all of them. The quartet of James Bell, JayVaughn Pinkston, Darrun Hilliard II and Ryan Arcidiacono make for one of the fiercest scoring punches in the country in Wright's dribble-drive offense. And if Tuesday night's gutsy, hard-fought road win showed us anything, it's that this is a resilient group. The NCAA tournament selection committee can analyze Villanova's ugly losses to Creighton, but regardless of a Big East regular-season title (the Wildcats still are in the race if they win out and Creighton loses) or NCAA tourney seeding, it'd be wrong to second-guess 'Nova based on the few hiccups it's had. REWIND: No. 19 Iowa State got revenge against Texas with an 85-76 home win. No. 16 Kentucky bounced back from its loss to Florida with an 84-70 road win against Ole Miss. Both No. 6 Duke and No. 7 San Diego State cruised to victories Tuesday night, while No. 8 Kansas prevailed past Texas Tech with a 64-63 win off Andrew Wiggins' game-winner. BEST BET TONIGHT: Heading into this season of the new-look Big East, it was one of the league's holdovers that was expected to carry the banner. It hasn't worked out that way for Marquette, which struggled with injuries early and couldn't live up to its preseason ranking. But recently the Golden Eagles have played more to their potential. They bring a three-game winning streak, their longest of the season, into tonight's home date with conference leader No. 12 Creighton (8 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1). The Bluejays, as usual, are riding the hot hand of national player-of-the-year favorite Doug McDermott. He might have a hard time topping the 39-point barrage of his last outing against Villanova, but he gets plenty of help at the arc. Marquette's Jake Thomas drilled a career-high six treys himself in his last outing against Xavier, but the Golden Eagles probably don't want to get into a three-point shooting contest with Creighton. They'll instead look to run their offense through Davante Gardner on the inside.
Wednesday Tip-Off: How good is Villanova, really?
USA Today | Feb 19