The Owls' loss to Penn dropped them from No. 44 to No. 61 in the NET rankings and out of the latest bracket of ESPN's Joe Lunardi. Villanova, No. 28 in the NET, fell from a fifth seed to a sixth seed in the bracket.
The 18th-ranked Wildcats have lost to the Bulldogs at Hinkle in each of the past two seasons, when both times they were undefeated and ranked No. 1. They visit this time with an unblemished Big East record.
The Wildcats lost four players from last year's national championship and still have Phil Booth and Eric Paschall and younger players taking on bigger roles. Jay Wright is pleased at their improvement.