Villanova rides hot streak into ‘Holy War’ showdown with St. Joe’s

Jay Wright
Jay Wright has his Wildcats playing at a high level to start the season.
Credit: Getty Images

The surge began last season when Villanova made a surprising run to the NCAA Tournament.

Even though the Wildcats were knocked out in the opening round by North Carolina, they were back in the Big Dance just one season removed from a frustrating 13-win season.

The 2013-14 season is just eight games old, but Villanova appears to be on track for another visit to the tournament.

Looming Saturday is one of its biggest games of the season – a trip to Hagan Arena to battle archrival Saint Joseph’s in the annual game known as the “Holy War.”

The Wildcats are 8-0, ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press poll and clearly playing at a very high level.

“Being ranked doesn’t validate anything for the players,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “I think it’s great for our school. It’s great for the fans. It’s great for our conference, but we really don’t evaluate ourselves that way and I have to make sure we don’t evaluate ourselves that way. We still have a lot of work to do.”

Yet the Wildcats have already defeated No. 2 Kansas and No. 23 Iowa en route to winning the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. They ousted Big 5 rival Penn, 77-54, on Wednesday. Getting past the Hawks will be a tough task. It always is in this matchup.

“The only guys I worry about in Big 5 games are the freshmen,” Wright said. “No matter how much you tell them, you don’t know what it is until you play in it. I do count on all the other guys to tell them and we always talk about it, but once you’ve played in a Big 5 game, no matter where you’re from, you know what it is.”

Villanova is off to its best start since winning nine straight to open the 2009-10 season.

Saint Joseph’s fell to 4-3 following a 77-69 loss at Temple on Wednesday. The Hawks will be hosting the “Holy War,” which will give them an emotional boost.

“Everyone in Philadelphia understands that you come back from Kansas and Iowa and you’re playing Penn [and St. Joe’s], it’s a Big 5 game, it’s the same game,” Wright said. “We all understand that in Philadelphia. People outside of Philadelphia don’t, but this is where we live so that’s all we worry about.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.