Thursday, December 25, 2014

Villanova to play 20th game vs. No. 1 opponent

Villanova will be playing a No. 1 team for the 20th time Wednesday night when it takes on Syracuse at the Wells Fargo Center. The Wildcats are 5-14 against No. 1 opponents.

Villanova to play 20th game vs. No. 1 opponent

Wednesday night’s game between Villanova and Syracuse at the Wells Fargo Center will mark the 20th time the Wildcats have played against the No. 1 team in the country in the Associated Press poll. Villanova is 5-14 against opponents ranked No. 1.

The Wildcats pulled off the upset in their most recent game against a top-ranked team, defeating Connecticut 69-64 on Feb. 13, 2006 at the Wachovia Center. The Cats, who were ranked fourth at the time of that game, recovered from a 12-point deficit in the second half.

Another Villanova win over a No. 1 team came against Syracuse, when the Wildcats of Rollie Massimino knocked off the Orange, 93-74, on Jan. 6, 1990 at the Carrier Dome.

Villanova’s other three victories against No. 1 teams were 96-73 over Connecticut on Feb. 18, 1995 at Storrs, Conn.; 66-64 over Georgetown in the national championship game on April 1, 1985 at Lexington, Ky.; and 56-53 over North Carolina on Feb. 13, 1983 at Chapel Hill, N.C.

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Will Villanova upset Syracuse on Wednesday night?
Yes. The DePaul win gave them momentum.
No. Syracuse is too good for the Wildcats right now.

The Wildcats were unranked at the time of their victories in 1990 and 1985. They were No. 15 when they defeated UConn in 1995, and No. 12 when they defeated North Carolina in 1983.

According to the Associated Press, since the inception of the AP poll in the 1948-49 season, the No. 1 team has been defeated 226 times. Almost half of those losses – 115 – have come against unranked opponents.

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Joe Juliano first visited the Palestra in 1970 after entering Temple University and became hooked for life on Big Five basketball. He'll always go with that name, figuring if the Big Ten can have 12 teams, why can't the Big Five have six?

Juliano joined the Inquirer in 1985 after 10 years at United Press International and has covered college sports for most of that time. His current beats are Villanova basketball, Penn State football, golf and the Penn Relays. Reach Joe at

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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