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Villanova remains No. 1 as they prepare for Philly rival, Temple

Ryan Arcidiacono and VIllanova head coach Jay Wright.  (USA Today Images)

Ryan Arcidiacono and VIllanova head coach Jay Wright. (USA Today Images)


For the second straight week, Villanova (22-3) sits at No.1 in the Associated Press Top 25. Kansas has moved into the second place, right behind the Wildcats after defeating two top-10 teams. This week, Villanova received 44 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel on Monday as Kansas received the rest.

The Wildcats are one of just six schools to remain in the No.1 spot for more than one week. One of the longest top ranked appearances ended just two weeks ago after Duke dropped out Top 25, ending their 167 consecutive weeks in the polls. The Blue Devils have been ranked in the Top 25 since preseason of the 2006-2007 season.

No.1 Villanova defeated fellow Big East member St. John’s in a tight victory, 73-63, on Saturday. Daniel Ochefu is showing he is back and stronger than ever from missing three games to a concussion as he finished with a career high 25 points on Saturday along with nine rebounds, shooting 11-of-14 from the field.

St. Johns came into the game with nothing to lose with a record of 0-12 in the Big East. The Red Storm lost 15 straight games prior to facing Villanova. They battled hard, but the No.1 team finished on top again.

Today, head coach Jay Wright and the Wildcats have another challenge ahead of them as they take on cross-city and Big 5 opponent, Temple. Fran Dunphy and the Owls are coming off a 77-65 victory over South Florida. Temple is sitting at 16-8 this season, coming off of a season best five consecutive wins.

Temple’s only Big 5 loss so far this season came to St. Joseph’s in overtime by one point. It will be a tough road game for the Wildcats, as the Owls are 9-2 at home in the Liacouras Center.  The Owls have also been successful against ranked opponents, defeating three of them so far this season.

Villanova is currently playing really well. Having Ochefu back is a big help in providing leadership, experience, and a strong inside presence for the Wildcats. Josh Hart is also doing well in his third season after becoming the 31st player in program history to score 1,000 or more points and 500 or more rebounds.

Villanova has also won five consecutive games and leads the Big East in field goal percentage defense, while at eighth nationally for scoring defense (61.0).

Villanova and Temple meet for the 90th time in program history. Villanova leads the series 46-43. In their last meeting on December 14, 2014 Villanova defeated the Owls 85-62 at home. Tonight, Villanova and Temple tip off at 7pm ET at the Liacouras Center.

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Renee is a Staff Writer at with a focus on Temple Men's Basketball and other area sports content.
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