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Villanova Basketball #TBT for January 26th

It hadn’t been a great day for Villanova... until an unforgettable Saturday in 2013

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Every Thursday we’ll take a look back at that day in Villanova Basketball to remember the good times (and possibly not so good times). We’ll look at some numbers, opponents, highlight a game or two, and use this as a place for Nova Nation to relive some of their favorite games. We’ve pulled games from the last 60+ years, all the way back to 1950, so there should be something for everyone. Let’s get to it!

VUHoops #TBT for January 26th

Overall Record: 7-9, 1-3 vs ranked teams. If these TBT’s tell us nothing else, it’s that we should really appreciate how good Villanova has been playing these last few years. Sure, Nova has been good before, but there have definitely been stretches that were tough to watch. Even the Road/Neutral argument doesn’t work today as the team is just 3-3 at home on the 26th. But one of those home games is my favorite regular season win of all time, so that helps.

Most Frequent Opponent: Seton Hall three times (2-1). Outside of a 20 point blowout by the ‘71 Nova team that went to the NCAA Championship Game against UCLA that season, these were two very close games back in the 1950’s. Nova won by 3 on the road, but lost to then #13 Seton Hall by two at Villanova. This year’s first game against the Pirates was another blowout, but I’m expecting a much closer game when the ‘Cats head to New Jersey next month. Fun note, all three times Villanova has played Seton Hall on Jan. 26th were prior to both joining the Big East over 36 years ago.

Most Intriguing Opponent: St. John’s in 1980 and 1991. I’d say among the Nova fan base I’m still considered a “young guy” (just turned 32 today!). And I’ll be honest, at no point since becoming a Villanova fan in the early 2000’s has St. John’s been at the top of its game. That didn’t use to be the case. In both of these losses in 1980 and 1991, the Johnnies were ranked in the top 10 and considered one of the better programs in the country.

From ‘75 to ‘95, St. John’s was a ranked team in 18 of 20 seasons, and in half of those seasons they were ranked in the Top 10. Since Jay Wright took over Villanova’s program in 2001, St. John’s has been ranked in 2 of 16 seasons, and haven’t been in the Top 10 once. The Big East would be a much better conference if the Red Storm could revert to the success they once had, and I think everyone would like to see that happen.

Highlighted Game: 2013 vs Syracuse (W in OT, 75-71). This is my favorite regular season Villanova game I’ve ever attended. Some context is required. Today is my Birthday, and Jan. 26th, 2013 was a Saturday game at the Wells Fargo Center, and the team I loved to hate the most was coming to town. The Wildcats were unranked and coming off a home win against #5 Louisville when #3 Syracuse came rolling in. I may have showed up a little early to wet my whistle with a few friends in the parking lot before heading into the game, but watching this one was magical. By the end tears of joy (clearly brought on by libations) were running down my cheeks, a moment my friends have never let me forget. Please enjoy some highlights of my favorite Villanova regular season victory.

Villanova’s January 26th Games since 1950

Year Location Opponent Win/Loss Nova Opp
Year Location Opponent Win/Loss Nova Opp
2013 Home #3 Syracuse W, OT 75 71
2011 Away Providence L 68 83
2008 Home Notre Dame L 80 90
2005 Home Notre Dame W 65 60
2000 Away Pittsburgh L 70 79
1999 Away Providence L 72 85
1991 Home #10 St. John's (NY) L 55 58
1981 Away Boston College L 60 73
1980 Away #9 St. John's (NY) L 75 81
1979 Home West Virginia W 99 58
1974 Away Cornell W 71 62
1971 Away Seton Hall W 72 52
1963 Neutral Pennsylvania W 63 62
1957 Away Seton Hall W 95 92
1953 Away Duquesne L 78 88
1952 Home #13 Seton Hall L 66 68

What’s your favorite Villanova game from January 26th?