You would think after winning a National Title last season, the Villanova Wildcats would start the season atop the Associated Press and USA Today polls.
Now, on December 5th and after starting the season 8-0, the Wildcats have climbed to the top spot in both polls for just the second time in program history, with the other coming on February 8, 2016 when the team occupied the top spot in both polls for three weeks.
This season Villanova started at No. 4 in both of the polls.
“It’s always an honor to be ranked No. 1,” Wildcat head coach Jay Wright said. “It’s a fun thing for our fans, alumni, and students. They deserve it. For us, it’s a challenge to take everyone’s best shots.”
In the USA Today Coaches poll, the team received 28 of 32 first place votes while in the AP poll, the team gathered 57 of 65 votes.
According to the Villanova press release, this week also completes a cycle of sorts for the Wildcats, as the the team re-entered the national top 25 rankings four years ago this week after winning the 2013 Battle 4 Atlantis Championships. Since that time, they have appeared in every week’s poll since.
Also earning honors this week was senior forward Kris Jenkins who is the Philadelphia Big Five Player of the Week after averaging 21.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in a pair of Big Five victories last week over Penn and St. Joe’s. He also connected on 10-of-19 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc.
The team will face La Salle at the Palestra on Tuesday.
This weeks Top 10 AP Poll (USA TODAY RANKINGS)
1. Villanova/(1. Villanova)
2. UCLA/ (2. UCLA)
3. Kansas/ (3. Kansas)
4. Baylor/ (4. Duke)
5. Duke/ (5. UNC)
6. Kentucky/ (6. Baylor)
7. UNC/ (7. Kentucky)
8. Gonzaga/ (8. Gonzaga)
9. Indiana/ (9. Indiana)
10. Creighton/ (10. Creighton)