1. Villanova Wildcats
(#4 in NCAA 16-2, 5-1 Big East, 3-0 City 6)
Last week: W vs. DePaul, L vs. Creighton
UPDATE: Creighton just hit another three pointer. Villanova was cruising on five straight wins after a narrow loss to Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. The Wildcats exercised the Blue Demons by 26 only to get blown out, beat down and bombed on by Ethan Wragge, Doug McDermott and the rest of the Creighton Jays. From start to finish, that game was just ugly. Villanova will have to have a short memory since they have Marquette and Georgetown on the road this week.
2. LaSalle Explorers
(11-6, 3-0 Atlantic 10, 2-1 City 6)
Last week: W vs. Rhode Island, W vs. Temple
Make it five wins in a row for the Explorers. LaSalle beat Rhode Island by ten on the 15th and handled Temple at the Palestra on Saturday by six — giving Temple their first City 6 loss. Right around this time last year, the Explorers hit a stride and used it to beat a ninth ranked Butler team and a 19th ranked VCU squad. LaSalle seems to be doing the same thing, which is good when you consider they have a murderous next two weeks. After St. Bonaventure on Wednesday, they have VCU and George Washington followed by Duquesne and UMass plus Saint Louis.
3. St. Joseph’s Hawks
(12-5, 2-1 Atlantic 10, 2-2 City 6)
Last week: W vs. Duquesne, W at UPenn
The Hawks have quietly won three straight with wins over George Mason, Duquesne and UPenn after losing a heartbreaker to UMass. St. Joseph’s had a pretty easy time against Penn on Saturday. The Hawks shot 56.4 percent from the field and made 16 of 24 from beyond the arc. (Gee, that sounds familiar.) St. Joseph’s has Rhode Island on Wednesday before they travel to Richmond on Saturday.
4. Drexel Dragons
(10-8, 2-3 Colonial Athletic Association, 0-1 City 6)
Last week: L vs. Towson, W at UNC-Wilmington, L vs. Delaware
The Dragons are beginning to show their inconsistencies. They lost three straight and are now in the weird “win one, lose one” holding pattern that you just dread being in. Frantz Massenat scored a career-high 30 points against UNCW and followed that with a 20 point, 10 assist performance against Delaware. Unfortunately, the Blue Hens shot 57% from the field last night and outrebounded the Dragons 44-27. It’s a light week for Drexel since they only have their rematch game with William & Mary on Saturday.
5. Temple Owls
(5-11, 0-5 American Athletic Conference, 2-1 City 6)
Last week: L at #19 Cincinnati, L vs. LaSalle
Temple has lost six straight games, but none of those losses have been blowouts. Aside from their loss to #24 Memphis, the Owls six straight losses have been more than ten points. Temple is playing hard for Fran Dunphy, but they lack the scoring punch they had last season when Khalif Wyatt was dropping buckets upon buckets. The Owls have UConn tonight before they welcome #15 Cincinnati to North Philadelphia on Sunday.
6. Penn Quakers
(3-11, 1-0 Ivy League, 0-4 City 6)
Last week: L vs. St. Joseph’s
There was a glimmer of happiness in University City after the Penn Quakers beat Princeton by three only to get rick-rolled by St. Joe’s on Saturday. The Quakers have N.J.I.T. on Saturday — no, seriously, that’s a real college — and return to Ivy League play next week when they go to Dartmouth.