By Harry Allison
Villanova, which stubbed its toe against Seton Hall, is back on the uptick.
Villanova (15-1 overall, 3-1 in the Big East), rose from No. 8 last week to No. 5 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls this week.
The top five in both polls includes Kentucky (1), Virginia (2), Gonzaga (3), Duke (4) and Villanova (5).
The No. 5 slot represents the highest Villanova has been ranked this season in either poll. The Wildcats began the season at No. 12 in the AP poll as well as the USA Today Coaches poll. It’s the highest ranking the Wildcats have received since closing out the regular season at No. 3 in both polls in March 2014.
Villanova used a 56-point surge to pull away from then No. 24 St. John’s for a 90-72 victory on Jan. 6 at Madison Square Garden and followed that with an 81-64 triumph over DePaul Saturday. The Blue Demons came into that game at the top of the Big East conference standings with a 3-0 mark.
The Wildcats return to action on Wednesday night when Xavier visits the Pavilion for a Big East game at 9 pm (Fox Sports 1/990 AM Radio).