Also receiving votes: Villanova 1.
It's a long way from the top-10 rankings that Villanova had received in the latter-half of the 2000s, but the Wildcats are back in the AP Poll -- sort of. After knocking off Georgetown on their season-ending game last week, Villanova seems to have a bit of momentum, heading into the Big East tournament on Wednesday. They have four wins over ranked teams, three of them against top-5 programs, and all of them at-home.
That was enough to warrant a single vote on the ballot of The Roanoke Times' Mark Berman.
Berman wasn't as high on Florida or Indiana as his peers, but he loved the Buckeyes, St. Mary's, and Villanova more than anyone else in the final regular season poll. He was also pretty high on Creighton, VCU and Marquette.
The new Big East may have a friend in Roanoke, as Berman had six schools on his ballot that are either part of the Catholic 7 group or mentioned to be under consideration to join them.
Villanova has been up-and-down all season, but their only truly bad losses were to Columbia and Seton Hall. The Wildcats seem likely to reach the NCAA tournament this season, though probably not among the top-25 schools that will be seeded in the field. So it isn't surprising that more writers didn't insert the Wildcats into their AP Poll ballot, but Berman thinks higher of the 'Cats.
Villanova was undefeated at the Wells Fargo Center, where they played two teams ranked number five in the nation and the third-ranked Syracuse Orange. They knocked off a 17th-ranked Marquette team at the Pavilion as well, and if those were the only games you watched this season, you might have ranked Villanova in the top-10.
With losses to Columbia and Seton Hall, a season-sweep from Providence and a few more losses dotting their schedule, the Wildcats should be pleased to have their successes recognized by Berman, even if none of the other voters agreed with him.