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Villanova Basketball may have found a new rival in Xavier

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Sorry Georgetown!

Not so happy Thursday, 'Nova Nation! That was a tough one last night. Shades of last March with all the missed bunnies, and Villanova's defense utterly failed them against one of the better defenses in the country. Add in hostile environment and you have a recipe for defeat.

The bright side is Villanova may just have a real competitor in the conference for the foreseeable future. We all thought that would be Georgetown, but now that X is over the hump against 'Nova we should see some really good games and conference races in the future. That's a big deal.

And now, "the news."

Xavier proves its mettle by solving Villanova riddle | ESPN
In beating Villanova for the first time since joining the Big East, Xavier showed the league has two NCAA contenders, and it might be the better one.

Don't panic if Villanova loses to Xavier | Philly.com
I don’t know if Villanova is the No. 1 team in college basketball or not. It’s great for the school, mostly because it’s never happened before, but it really doesn’t mean much once the real season starts.

Xavier a legit candidate for a No. 1 NCAA seed after beating Villanova | CBSSports.com
What will matter is how these two will need to carry the water for their conference and win at least five games between them in the NCAAs in order to bring skeptics up to speed on how good the Big East has become over the past two years.

No. 5 Xavier 90, No. 1 Villanova 83: What we learned from Musketeers' takedown of Wildcats | Sporting News
What we learned from Xavier's 90-83 victory over Villanova in the biggest regular season game in Xavier history.

Key takeaways from No. 5 Xavier’s 90-83 win vs. No. 1 Villanova | USA TODAY
This was the win that the Musketeers needed to put a cherry on the top of their résumé.

Don't panic if Villanova loses to Xavier | Philly.com
I don’t know if Villanova is the No. 1 team in college basketball or not. It’s great for the school, mostly because it’s never happened before, but it really doesn’t mean much once the real season starts.

Villanova Wildcats can't shake NCAA tournament failures | ESPN
Villanova sits perched atop the polls for a third straight week, but none of that will matter if yet another Wildcats season ends in the first weekend of the NCAA tournament.

Bilas Index: Going through the best 68 teams in the land and detesting parity | E$PN Insider
(Sub Req'd) The Bilastrator will tell you the 68 best teams in the land. He will explain his reasoning, using metrics and his own eyes. But please don't say "parity" in his presence. 'Nova is at #1.