Temple and Villanova have dominated the Big 5 in recent years. Saturday at 5 p.m. at Temple's Liacouras Center (ESPN 2), the two squads meet with city pride and the pressure of an early-season measuring stick on the line.
Villanova (5-3), losers of three out of four, will be looking to get back on track. The Wildcats have owned the Big 5 lately, beating La Salle 10 straight times, Penn nine straight and winning six of their last seven against both St. Joe's and Temple.
Temple (5-2) has similarly had its way in Big 5 play, as long as you don't count its recent history against Villanova. The Owls have beaten St. Joe's nine straight times, Penn five straight and La Salle eight out of their last nine meetings. This season, Temple has been hindered by injuries to starters Scootie Randall and Micheal Eric. But the Owls still have capable players.
Even if they didn't, the cross-city rivalry would motivate Villanova.
"It's always going to be a good game," said Villanova junior lead guard Maalik Wayns, who's close with Moore and Wyatt. "We really want to beat those guys. For us it's just the same as playing Syracuse, Connecticut or someone like that. It'll be intense, like a Big East environment. And it's probably going to come down to the end, like most Big 5 games. We've played in great places. I'm kind of used to it. It might be tough for the young guys. They should embrace it.
"I think we feel like the underdogs now. That's a good way to approach it. My first 2 years, we were ranked high, maybe we had a different attitude. We understand we're not where we want to be."
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