The Syracuse Orange men's basketball team will put its No. 1 ranking to the test Wednesday, as the Orange visit the Villanova Wildcats in a Big East Conference game at The Pavilion (7 p.m. on ESPN2). The Orange (17-0, 4-0) take their unblemished record on the road for the fourth time in eight games, while the Wildcats (8-8, 1-3) have earned victories in five of the last seven meetings against Syracuse.
On Saturday, Syracuse used a 19-0 first-half run and a few solid defensive plays down the stretch to clip No. 25 (then No. 20) Marquette Golden Eagles, 73-66, at the Carrier Dome. Senior forward Kris Joseph netted a team-best 17 points, while junior guard Brandon Triche added 16 for the Orange, who led by as much as 23 points.
Currently, Joseph paces Syracuse is scoring with 14.1 points per game, while sophomore guard Dion Watiers is coming off the bench to net 12.5 ppg. Last week in two games, Triche averaged 16.0 ppg, 5.0 rebounds per game and 3.5 assists per game and earned Big East Weekly Honor Roll mention Monday.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats are paced by sophomore guard Maalik Wayns 17.4 points per game and 4.8 assists per game. Wayns tallied 21 points in the 87-71 victory over DePaul Sunday.
Junior forward Mouphtaou Yarou (12.8 ppg and 7.8 rebounds per game) has also been productive but he will be tested Wednesday, as he faces a very solid 2-3 zone defense that one of the best in the country.
For more on the Syracuse Vs. Villanova contest, visit the SB Nation blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician.