Villanova is going to stay undefeated for a while

Villanova's Jermaine Samuels, right, is guarded by DePaul's Justin Roberts during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jim Young)
jim young/AP
Jermaine Samuels handles the ball during Villanova’s win over DePaul Wednesday.

The best gift of the season: “Season Ticket”

Villanova is clearly the best team in college basketball. The way things are looking, the Wildcats (13-0) are going to stay No. 1 for a while.

The biggest reason is tremendous talent playing as a team. Coach Jay Wright told reporters last week that he can’t recall coaching a more efficient offense in his 17 years at Villanova.

‘‘I think it’s really high basketball talent,’’ he said. ‘‘We’ve got some really talented guys but they have really high basketball IQ.


“You might have three guys that talented but only one has basketball IQ. These [players] are all talented and a high basketball IQ. Always look to make the right play, not just scoring points.’’

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In addition, the schedule is favorable, at least at the start of the Big East season. The tough games in January are all home games, with a meeting against Xavier on Jan. 10 one to circle.

Things don’t get sticky until Villanova plays at X Feb. 17, at Creighton Feb. 24, and at Seton Hall Feb. 28.

There also is a road game at Butler Saturday (CBS Sports Network, 4 p.m.) that could be troublesome. Butler is 8-0 at Hinkle Fieldhouse and many of the victories have been by big spreads. An upset is not far-fetched, but the Bulldogs will need a top-level game from Kelan Martin. He can be explosive but he’s inconsistent. For an upset to happen, it has to ignite.

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Other games I’d like to see this weekend:


Wichita at UConn: The Shockers move up in degree of difficulty with their first AAC game.

Tennessee at Arkansas: The Razorbacks are undefeated at home and have a notable neutral-court victory over Oklahoma. They play so many nonconference home games; I’m still not sure about them. A win here would convince me.

Florida State at Duke: Now we find out whether the Seminoles are ACC contenders or pretenders.

Oklahoma at TCU: Two words: Trae Young. Oklahoma’s point guard is always worth seeing. He’s the most exciting player in America. But there’s more. TCU is undefeated. The Frogs haven’t really been challenged like this.


UMass at Saint Bonaventure: The Bonnies haven’t lost since Jaylen Adams returned from an injury. This would be a huge upset victory if Matt McCall can coax it out of his team.

Saint Mary’s at BYU: It will be a great atmosphere in Provo and a chance for Mary’s to not disappoint its fans for once.

UMass Lowell at Wisconsin: What a great game for Lowell to play. It’s on the Big Ten Network if you want to see it.

Georgetown at Marquette: Patrick Ewing put together a ridiculously easy schedule so his Hoyas would have a good nonconference record. They do (10-1), but the losses are going to come quickly in Big East play, starting with this one. Marquette, a fringe NCAA Tournament candidate, can’t afford to lose this game.

Arizona State at Arizona: The Sun Devils are the surprise team of the year, a potential Final Four team with great guards, but I doubt they can win in Tucson. The game is on the Pac 12 Network, unfortunately. Accessible to just a few.

Boise State at UNLV: Big Mountain West game. Both teams are title contenders in the league. Both are surprisingly 11-2. Home court probably will prevail.


Georgia at Kentucky: Still can’t understand how Georgia lost to UMass. The Bulldogs are more talented than that. Kentucky remains inconsistent but plays well enough for short periods of times to win games like this.

Joe Sullivan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeSulliSvan