The Big East was long heralded as the best basketball conference that featured scintillating rivalries and produced timeless classics, but the departure of landmark schools has rendered the Big East to mediocre status. While the conference lacks big name schools, the Villanova Wildcats headline as the conference’s lone contender in the upcoming postseason.
Villanova has become a surprise team this season and the Wildcats have already proven to be a tough test for some of the best teams in the country. The Wildcats’ resume already features two top-25 wins, and one of the team’s two losses came against the current top ranked team.
The Wildcats had continued success Monday when Villanova dispatched the Xavier Musketeers by a score of 81-58. The Wildcats proved lethal from behind the arc in the win where the team hit 11 three-pointers and shot 39 percent from downtown. James Bell hit six three-pointers on his way to 27 points while also managing to grab eight rebounds. Jayvaughn Pinkston also recorded eight rebounds and produced 11 points. The Wildcats moved to 8-1 in conference play with the win, but how much value do those wins really hold?
The Wildcats’ strength of schedule will not do the team any favors when it comes to preparing for the NCAA Tournament as the Big East is no longer among the best conferences in America, so it will be interesting to see how the Wildcats fare in the big dance.
Although the Wildcats play in a lackluster conference, the team’s style of play should serve them well in the tournament. Villanova will make an impact on the NCAA Tournament, but the team’s strength of schedule will prove to be a detriment when the team is on a big stage.
Greg Douglas is a NCAA Basketball writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.