While playing well in your own conference is always important, we seem to usually end up talking about who teams played in nonconference when selections are being handed out for the NCAA Tournament. Obviously, it's not just who you play but how you fare against these nonconference opponents. For Villanova, the schedule this year outside of the Big East will certainly be challenging, as the Big 5 should be stout and a trip to Syracuse will be no easy task towards the end of 2013. ESPN's Dana O'Neil analyzed each of the nonconference schedules for Big East squadrants and in regards to the Wildcats, O'Neil writes,
To understand this ranking, you have to understand the Big 5. Even when the Philly schools are down, the games are brutal and with La Salle, Penn and St. Joe’s on the uptick, the city series is a beast. Now mix in a Battle 4 Atlantis that opens with USC and then likely Kansas (with Tennessee, Iowa or Xavier as likely third opponents), plus a visit to the Carrier Dome and you’ve got a solid slate for Jay Wright’s crew.
On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the toughest, Villanova's nonconference schedule was ranked an 8. O'Neil ranked Georgetown and Marquette's out of conference schedules at 10.