Villanova Wildcats: Biggest Surprise of 2013-14 College Basketball Season

By Taylor Sturm
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 14 Villanova Wildcats defeated the Pennsylvania Quakers in a game that saw Villanova take control early. Interestingly enough, the Quakers out-rebounded the Wildcats, but were unable to match Villanova’s superior scoring ability. Darrun Hilliard led the team with 19 points and was able to carry the Wildcats through guard Ryan Arcidiacono’s poor night of shooting.

The win over Pennsylvania brings Villanova’s record to 8-0 with wins over the then No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks and the No. 23 Iowa Hawkeyes. Villanova wasn’t expected to be the best team in the Big East to start the season, but the Wildcats have shown themselves to be one of the best teams in the country time and time again.

The Big East is going to be extremely difficult this season. The Xavier Musketeers, Butler Bulldogs, Marquette Golden Eagles, Providence Friars, Creighton Bluejays and Georgetown Hoyas are all teams that are capable of making it to the 2014 NCAA Tournament. These early season non-conference wins against top NCAA opposition are crucial to the success of the Wildcats on their way to the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

The next big matchup for Villanova will be against the No. 8 Syracuse Orange, and a win would all but assure their spot in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The Big East is winnable for the Wildcats, but wins over Kansas, Iowa and Syracuse would mean that all they would need is an average performance in conference play. Villanova is having one of the best starts of the season of any team in all of college basketball.

Taylor Sturm is an SEC Basketball Writer for Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS or add him to your network on Google.

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