Villanova's fortune swung to the extreme positive side of the pendulum on Tuesday night- without even playing.
First was news out of Cincinnati that Xavier center Matt Stainbrook has suffered a sprained MCL and will not be available for Thursday's tilt against 'Nova. Stainbrook's 10.6 ppg and 7.8rpg will leave a gaping hole in the Musketeers' already thin front court.
A few hours later the Wildcats got some positive results. Rival Georgetown's 75-63 upset of Creighton on the Hoyas' Senior Night helped the Hoyas and the 'Cats. The win over #13 Creighton not only improved the Hoyas' position on the Bubble, but he loss by the Bluejays (23-6, 13-4) gives the Wildcats (26-3, 14-2) a 1½ game lead in the Big East Standings with two games to play.
Those two conference occurrences place Villanova in the right spot for Jay Wright's squad to claim ownership of the Big East regular season title with a win over Xavier on Thursday or Georgetown on Saturday. Villanova last won the Conference regular season title in 2005-06 (with
SyracuseUConn). The Wildcats have also claimed the regular season Big East titles in 1982, 1983 (tied), and 1997 (tied for BE 6 Division crown).
More importantly, on the national scene, #7 Syracuse lost to Georgia Tech at the Carrier Dome, 67-62. That loss by the Orange (their 4th on 5 games) has catapulted the Wildcats into a 1-Seed in CBS's Bracketology completed by Jerry Palm.
A #1 Seed. Who saw that coming? This Villanova Wildcats squad is real. And they are in control of their own destiny for the rest of the 2013-14 season.