Starting off with the bottom of the Big 5, poor Penn. Most recently, the Quakers lost in overtime to Wagner. Only 2-6 so far on this early season, the Quakers are struggling. Ivy League play has yet to start, but Ivy favorite, Harvard is already playing extremely well, boasting a 9-1 record. Penn's early schedule has been tough, but looks to rebound for a few games before playing La Salle on January 4th.
Saint Joe's was mercilessly beaten by their arch rival Villanova in the Holy War this past weekend. The Hawks played a strong first half, but Nova out-everything'd them in the second half on their way to a 98-68 victory. The Hawk certainly isn't dead because it's immortal, but it's wings were definitely clipped in its own building. Both JayVaughn Pinkston and James Bell had a huge night for the Wildcats dropping 27 and 25, respectively.
Villanova has also soared into the national rankings and as of this week they are #10. All of this national attention stems from Nova and Ryan Arcidiacono beating then, #2 Kansas in the Battle for Atlantis. Following that win, Nova beat then ranked #23 Iowa who looks to be a pesky player in the B1G this year.
La Salle has found the winning ways again after dropping two games over Thanksgiving to Providence and Northern Illinois. Jerrell Wright as a force in the Explorer's most recent win over Stony Brook. Wright scored 16 of his 21 in the second half and helped the Explorers erase a 9 point deficit out of the locker room at halftime. There is no doubt that the Explorers are struggling offensively this year,
and will need to start creating first half leads instead of deficits as A-10 play starts after a trip to the Pavillion to play Villanova on this Sunday 12/15.
Controversy surrounded Temple's heartbreaking 81-80 overtime loss to Texas at home one week ago. Up 79-78 in the final minute, Temple G Dalton Pepper was fouled and went to the line for a 1 and 1. He hit the first, then made the second but was called for a lane violation. Instead of being up 3, they were only up 2 and that allowed Texas to hit the game winning 3 with :12 left on the clock. Certainly a tough loss for Temple who overcame a large deficit in the 2nd half.
There are some Big 5 matchups coming up this week. La Salle visits Villanova at 2:30pm on Sunday afternoon. With what Villanova has done to teams recently, and the hot streak they are riding, I don't see them losing this game.
Rankings after the jump.