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The Sun's Arizin: Can anyone challenge Villanova Basketball in the Big East?

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Jay Wright thinks so.

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Happy Thursday, 'Nova Nation! Yesterday was Big East Media Day, so we got a lot of perspective on this year's Villanova team - and not just from Jay Wright, Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu. Other players weighed in on the Wildcats and what makes them so tough as well.

It seems like the other teams still see themselves behind Villanova in the pecking order, but Jay doesn't see it that way, and thinks his team will need to prove themselves all over again after losing 3 key contributors.

And now, the "news."

'Nova prepares to be Big East top dog once again | City of Basketball Love
Jay Wright is confident in his group, but he thinks the Big East is pretty wide open this season given the stars he has to replace.

Is there a real challenger in the Big East for Villanova? | NBC Sports
Providence has the best player in the conference and Villanova is the best team. But beyond that, there is so much up in the air in the Big East.

Big East Media Day: Favorite Villanova trying to forget last season | ESPN
The Villanova Wildcats have again been picked as the favorite to win the Big East, but can they win in the NCAA tournament?

Filling John Robertson’s shoes at Villanova tall order for Zach Bednarczyk | American Sports Network
Zach Bednarczyk replaced Robertson at the end of the Delaware game and started the past two games, losses to Penn and William & Mary. While the redshirt freshman from Wallington, N.J., has demonstrated qualities that will make him a good player, the learning curve is steep in what is routinely one of the most productive offenses in FCS.

Unbalanced schedules tilt the playing field in FCS | STATS
In the larger FCS conferences (such as the CAA) - and the 13-team Big Sky is the biggest - unbalanced scheduling has an impact because not all of the teams play each other.

Kris Dunn's journey leads him back to Providence for one more year
Providence's Kris Dunn was a surefire first-round NBA pick. Instead, he decided to come back to school. Tough call, right? Not when you've been through what Kris Dunn's been through.

Calipari hasn’t reached out to Pitino; hopes the allegations aren’t true | Kentucky Sports Radio
Unless you've been living under a rock, or if your Twitter blocks the word 'hooker' from your feed, you probably know our friends in the University of Louisville are in a pickle.

Portland State Vikings give interim coach Bruce Barnum 5-year deal
Portland State Vikings interim football coach Bruce Barnum has been given a five-year contract set to begin after this season, the school has announced. Barnum just led PSU to a 66-7 whooping of FBS North Texas.

Drink to That: Russian Cities Ponder 1-Day-a-Week Booze Ban | The New York Times
Some Russian officials are daring to think the seemingly unthinkable in the land of vodka — banning the sale of alcohol once a week in the country's two main cities. Professor Claude, your thoughts?