When I started posting on this site earlier this year, one of the first posts I wrote was a Big 5 preview. I followed up with the first Big 5 Round Up and was hoping to post an updated Big 5 Top 5 every week or so. Well, as you all know, Villanova is the top dog, or should I say top cat, in the Big 5 and it's not even close. I was going to wait until the Syracuse and Butler games for a new Round Up, but decided to post an abbreviated Holiday edition:
# 5 Penn Quakers (2-7)
Penn lost at Marist 76-62. Penn had an early lead in the first half but a 38-14 run by Marist before the half sealed their fate. No Quakers were in double figures vs Marist. Tony Hicks was held to 9 points and 9 rebounds, well below his 16.1 points per game average.
Upcoming games include at Rider, at George Mason and LaSalle.
#2A #2B #2C
LaSalle lost to Villanova,73-52, continuing the Wildcats domination over the Big 5. The Explorers followed that up with a loss at Miami, FL, 71-58. Upcoming games for LaSalle is Penn on January 4.
Temple lost to Texas Southern 90-89, allowing local product Aaric Murray to score 48 points vs the Owls, most in school history. Temple followed that with a 101-65 win vs LIU Brooklyn at Barclays Center. Temple will begin conference play with upcoming tests vs Rutgers and UCF,
St.Joe's beat Drexel 75-55 and then went to Baltimore and beat Loyola Marymount 88-77. The Hawks face Boston University and Binghamton to close out 2013.
LaSalle and St. Joe's were no match for Villanova. Temple has to wait until Feb 1 to face The Wildcats. There was some reports in the Philadelphia market that Drexel was the city's second best team, but they were no contest for St. Joe's.
All three of these teams have played brilliantly and terribly at times. I predicted a tough year for Temple, but I thought LaSalle would be better that they are showing. For my Christmas edition, I lumped all three together.
#1 in the Big Five #8 in the country Villanova Wildcats (11-0)
Villanova took down another Big 5 opponent, besting LaSalle 73-52. Villanova has beaten all of its Big 5 opponents by 20 points or more. If Nova can do the same to Temple on February 1, they will be the first team in Big 5 history, dating back to 1955-56, to accomplish this feat.
The Wildcats then defeated Rider 88-67. Villanova shot 50 % from the field, hit 10 three pointers and lead by as many as 27 points. Darrun Hilliard scored 21 vs LaSalle and 19 vs Rider and earned Big 5 player of the week honors.
Villanova travels to the Carrier Dome on December 28th to face an old foe, Syracuse. The Wildcats then travel to Butler to begin Big East play on December 31st.
Enjoy the games! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!