The Villanova Wildcats have been the best team in Philadelphia for a while now. Yes, Penn beat them out for the Big 5 Title last season, but it’s been Villanova as the constant in the NCAA Tournament and representing the city on the national stage. Yet through all of that time Villanova has not been the team with the most Big 5 Titles to their name. That was still the Temple Owls.
Temple’s reign goes back to 1989 when they tied St. Joe’s with 13 Big 5 Titles a piece. They’d remain tied atop the city series with the Hawks until becoming the sole record holders in 1993 with their 16th title. As Villanova began to make its push in the 2000’s, Temple retained a comfortable lead. The Owls would win their 27th title in 2013 before Villanova would go on an unprecedented run of five consecutive outright titles.
That brings us to 2020, where Villanova enters the weekend already holding at least a share of their 27th title. Should they win it outright, they would finally tie Temple for the most titles in Big 5 history. However, the Owls still have a chance to extend their reign. Should Temple find a way to pull off the win at home on Sunday, they would also clinch a share of the title, their 28th All-Time.
Villanova will be a four point favorite per KenPom.com, and the experts will all be picking the Wildcats to walk away with a road victory. But this is a Big 5 rivalry game, and those never come easy. That said, Villanova rising to the top of the city series has been a long time coming. The Wildcats already have the most outright titles of any school. Jay Wright (12) is now just three titles behind John Chaney (15) for the most by any coach. And with a win on Sunday, Villanova will join Temple and St. Joe’s as the only schools which can claim at one point to have had the most titles in Big 5 history.
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Villanova vs Temple
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