The venue doesn't matter much. You can find out about your team at Madison Square Garden (as Drexel did last week) or in a converted ballroom at a modern-swank resort in the Bahamas, as Villanova just did.
Let a television network put together a big field, break out the balls. November hoops counts, big-time, often presenting the very best chance to show the NCAA tournament selection committee your worthiness.
On the surface, the Wildcats just found out they could beat the No. 2 team in the nation late one night and come from 15 down in the second half against the No. 23 team on the next.
Right now, Villanova probably deserves to be in the 15-18 range of any national top 25. Whatever this week's ranking, beating Iowa in overtime the night after knocking out Kansas should ensure that 7-0 Villanova will stay ranked whenever it suffers its first loss.
What Villanova really found out at the Battle 4 Atlantis: The Wildcats have some legitimate athletic depth, freshman forwards who are clearly ready to contribute (in a needed lineup spot), and they have an ability to go "small" while still getting more than their share of rebounds and loose balls.
Throw in some three-point shooting sprees, and 'Nova becomes tough to handle.
Jay Wright didn't think his team could come back to beat Iowa the night after upsetting Kansas if he had to play a short rotation the whole way on Villanova's third game in three days.
"We were dead in the water," Wright said from the airport Sunday morning, short of sleep but as pleased as he could be about how things played out.
Wright was referring specifically to 'Nova senior James Bell's going off on a serious little spree, knocking down three straight three-pointers in a span of 67 seconds, a personal 9-0 run to get his team within three points with 10 minutes left.
"He just showed incredible will and great physical condition," Wright said, noting that Bell played the most minutes of any 'Nova player in the three days, including 40 minutes against Iowa.
A couple of late threes by the hero of the Kansas game, Ryan Arcidiacono, were the final daggers against Iowa. Wright pointed out that he has the depth now to spell Arcidiacono more than last season. The coach made a point of giving props to Tony Chennault for being able to come in for small stretches and do the job. Back from the injured list, transfer Dylan Ennis is getting more of those minutes at guard now.
I remember sitting in Wright's office in April 2012, listening to him talking about how getting manhandled in the 2008 NCAA Sweet 16 by eventual national champion Kansas had helped convince him that Villanova needed to get bigger to ever have a chance to win a national title.
There were more factors in play in Villanova's 2011-12 struggles than just that, but Wright had already convinced himself to go back to placing an emphasis on guard- and wing-oriented teams that can win with their skills. That day in 2012, Wright mentioned that the class that had just finished its junior year in high school was crucial for his program if 'Nova was going to rise again.
As it turned out, Villanova got a couple of recruits from that class who are already making an impact as freshmen. Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins combined for 56 minutes and 26 points against Iowa. Hart had four offensive rebounds. He's as active as anybody Wright puts out there.
The Iowa game wasn't a pretty one. For a while, Villanova seemed determined to commit turnovers in every possible fashion. But Wright particularly liked that his younger guys battled against veteran Iowa subs. As talented as Kansas was, the Jayhawks put a lot of freshmen out there.
It's also obvious that Villanova has guys who can ignore their own shooting droughts when it comes time to take a big shot. Good teams have those guys, always.
This week, Villanova will play a Big Five game on Wednesday against Penn at the Pavilion, then visit Hawk Hill on Saturday for the Holy War renewal against St. Joseph's.
In the meantime, the best Villanova synopsis may have come from former Wildcats coach Steve Lappas, now a CBS Sports Network analyst, who tweeted Sunday that "We should stop talking about Villanova's lack of size. They don't have height but they plenty of size. Physical!"
Overall height can sometimes be overrated in college hoops. The best local teams keep proving it (as recently as La Salle last March). Yes, the NCAA champion usually has a little of everything, but a level down, the teams capable of getting to the Sweet 16 often do it with slightly smaller versions.
This weekend, Villanova didn't need a lot of muscle to end up celebrating in an Atlantis meeting room that served as a locker room.
It also was a reminder: The venue doesn't matter if you've got the goods.