Villanova Wildcats Fall, Pittsburgh Panthers Rise in B/R Top 25

Jameson FlemingSenior Writer IFebruary 22, 2010

PITTSBURGH - FEBRUARY 21:  Corey Stokes #24 of the University of Villanova Wildcats drives with the ball against Brad Wanamaker #22 of the University of Pittsburgh Panthers during the game on February 21, 2010 at the Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

It's fitting the two teams that faced the most dramatic changes during the past week in terms of the Bleacher Report Top 25 came about those changes after fighting it out on the hardwood in Pittsburgh over the weekend.

Pittsburgh, which is untouchable in the Peterson Events Center, knocked off a team ranked third at the time. With the victory, the Panthers have now defeated a team ranked first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth during the past six years.

Pittsburgh's sell-out record crowd rattled Scottie Reynolds and the rest of Jay Wright's team to send 'Nova to its second consecutive loss.

Villanova went down at home on Big Monday against Connecticut, who, in combination with Pittsburgh, have shown how to defeat Villanova.

The secret is out: force Villanova to hit jump-shots by taking away penetration and making Wright's big men an even bigger non-factor and the Wildcats will struggle to score.

The consecutive losses also push Villanova off the top seed line, and it will be difficult for the 'Cats to get back on top. Villanova certainly has shots to win marquee games, but it will need help from Purdue and even Duke to regain a one seed.

While Villanova was the big loser, Pittsburgh was the big winner. In addition to beating Villanova, the Panthers went on the road to Marquette and defeated the Golden Eagles.

After it looked like Pittsburgh was fading following a tremendous start to the Big East season, Pittsburgh has now won three consecutive games over top competition.

Those two teams are still chasing Kentucky and Kansas who continue to pace the field. Kansas has started to pull away as Kentucky received just one first-place vote after receiving a handful last week.

The change can be attributed to Kansas continuing to coast through the Big 12 while the Wildcats struggled on the road against Vanderbilt.

If you're a Bleacher Report member and interested in voting in the Bleacher Report Top 25 poll, email Jameson Fleming at to receive a ballot.


Ranking, Team (record through Sunday), votes (first place votes), ranking last week

1. Kansas 26-1, 450 (17) Last Week: 1

2. Kentucky 26-1, 429 (1) Last Week: 2

3. Syracuse 25-2, 406 Last Week: 4

4. Purdue 23-3, 395 Last Week: 5

5. Duke 23-4, 376 Last Week: 6

6. Villanova 22-4, 348 Last Week: 3

7. Kansas State 22-4, 345 Last Week: 7

8. West Virginia 21-5, 334 Last Week: 8

9. New Mexico 25-3, 281 Last Week: 12

10. Ohio State 21-7, 280 Last Week: 11

11. Butler 25-4, 234 Last Week: 16

12. Georgetown 18-7, 229 Last Week: 9

13. Michigan State 21-7, 213 Last Week: 10

14. Pittsburgh 21-6, 211 Last Week: 19

15. Brigham Young 25-3, 193 Last Week: 17

16. Tennessee 20-6, 185 Last Week: 18

17. Wisconsin 20-7, 167 Last Week: 15

18. Gonzaga 22-5, 161 Last Week: 13

19. Texas 21-6, 150 Last Week: 14

20. Vanderbilt 20-6, 129 Last Week: 20

21. Temple 22-5, 124 Last Week: 21

22. Northern Iowa 24-3, 74 Last Week: 25

23. Texas A&M 19-7, 51 Last Week: 24

24. Baylor 20-6, 49 Last Week: 23

25. Richmond 22-6, 37 Last Week: 27

Others Receiving Votes: Xavier 30, Virginia Tech 15, UTEP 13, Maryland 12, Wake Forest 8, Utah State 7, Louisville 5, UNLV 4, Cornell 4, Murray State 4, San Diego State 1, Clemson 1

Participants: Jameson Fleming, Paul Seaver, Chris DiLuccio, Jon Martin, Allen Kha, Chris Burrows, Drew Gatewood, Brandon Bohning, Jesse Kramer, Carl Stine, Corey Taylor, Bryan Toporek, Tyler Stimson, Michael Jee, Dan Karell, Scott Henry, Mike Miller, Tom Hager, Nick Rall

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