Villanova cruising at No. 1 in AP Rankings

Villanova gains first Association Press No.1 Ranking

Villanova recently joined an exclusive club as one of only 57 teams who have been ranked No.1 in the Association Press College Basketball poll.

The Wildcats received 32 first-place votes from the 65 member media panel. After previously ranked at the No. 2 spot in the country, ‘Nova finally made the step up.

Villanova celebrated its achievement on Tuesday evening with a dominant display against DePaul, thumping the Blue Demons, 86-59. The victory, in which Josh Hart took centre stage with 18 points to help him reach the 1,000-career point’s landmark, capped off a memorable week for the Wildcats, who were also named Team of the Week in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll.

The Wildcats turned 19 DePaul turnovers into 19 points and improved their record to 21-3 overall with that victory. A team with a similar overall record is North Carolina and at, they show the offensive and defensive similarities between the two standout programs.

The man behind the success at Villanova is head coach Jay Wright.

"We're honored and humbled to have been voted No.1 by the writers in the Associated Press poll and the coaches in the USA Today Coaches poll,” said Wright, who has been the head coach at Villanova since 2001. “There's still a lot of basketball left to be played and handling this will be another challenge for our team. We look forward to it."

The Wildcats went to New York City last weekend and beat St. John's 73-63 before topping Temple 83-67 for their sixth win in a row.

The attention will soon turn towards one of the most exciting dates on the NCAA Men’s Basketball calendar. ‘March Madness’ is just around the corner, in which 64 teams will battle for the right to play in the title game on April 4 in Houston. We will find out the opening match ups when ‘Selection Sunday’ takes place on March 13.

Millions of fans across the country will be filling out brackets with their projections of which teams will progress from round to round. With big money, as well as pride at stake, experts predict that more money will be spent betting on March Madness than on this year’s Super Bowl. With over 100 million people set to take part in the bracket contests, it is a lucrative competition for both fans and the team’s themselves.

In the past, the tournament has given us some of the most dramatic and surprising finishes in basketball. For those looking for a potential upset, 18% of first round games have been won by 13 and 14 seeds. This gives you an idea of the unpredictability of the tournament and it promises to be no different this time around. ‘

Current odds to win this year’s tournament favor tams like Oklahoma, North Carolina and Michigan State, as well as Iowa, Kansas and Maryland. But as we have seen so often in the past, there are bound to be upsets along the way.

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