As you can see in the post below, the other fine Villanova blogs have done a great job in breaking down Penn and what we can expect to see this evening, so here are my two cents...
If one doesn't have tickets tonight for the Pavilion, you can only see the game, unfortunately, if you have 'Nova All-Access, so you'll have to enjoy the game as called by Ryan and Whitey...
I was a little surprised at the 7 PM (as opposed to 7:30 PM) tip-off, given the difficulties of rush-hour traffic and the fact that Villanova itself, after all, is televising the game, so it wasn't done for TV, like Big Monday on ESPN....
Anyhow - here are some more facts about tonight's contest with the Penn Quakers-
Wildcats/Quakers City Series Facts
Villanova is currently enjoying as good a run, as a single team has ever had in City Series play. Why? The Wildcats have vanquished 18 of their last 19 Big Five opponents.
Last season (2008-09), the Wildcats swept all four of their opponents, to capture an outright Big Five crown.
During the preceding season (2007-08), the Wildcats went 3-1, good enough to share the title with the Temple Owls (whom they had defeated, at the Liacouras Center). The sole loss was to St. Joseph's, at the Palestra.
And in both 2005-06 and 2006-07, Villanova swept all four of their opponents.
So from 2005-06 through 2008-09, the Wildcats are 11-1, with two outright championships and one shared one. In 2004-05, Villanova dropped its opener to Temple at the Palestra, but then won the subsequent three games. End result - as of tonight - 18-1 in the last 19 games, with just one City Series loss since December 2004, the aforementioned loss to Temple.
Against Penn, the Wildcats lead all-time, 39-17. Excluding their 1922 meeting, they are 39-16 against the Quakers, as members of the Big Five. Villanova has won six straight over Penn overall, and 11 of the last 13. Jay Wright is 6-2 against them. No current Wildcat or Quaker has ever participated in a Quaker victory. This is Penn's seventh trip to the Pavilion, and the Quakers have never won here. (Prior to the Pavilion's construction in the mid-'80s, nearly all Villanova/Penn games were at the Palestra.)
The Wildcats are seeking their seventh consecutive victory in the series - something it has done only once before. From January 1975 to December 1981, Villanova won seven in a row against them (including the 1979 Penn Quaker squad that reached the Final Four). Penn's longest winning streak in the series is five, from January 1972 to December 1974, although that includes a victory in the 1972 NCAA tournament in Morgantown, West Virginia, which was not an official City Series game.
This is not to say, however, that Penn can't be competitive. On December 2, 2006, at the Palestra, it took the Wildcats two overtimes to triumph, 99-89.
Full recap to come, after the game-
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