The streaks of success that Villanova has amassed since Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins, and Darryl Reynolds came in as freshmen have a chance to come together on what could be a historic night at the Pavilion for the top-ranked Wildcats.
When the Cats (10-0, 3-0 Big Five) take on Temple (7-3, 3-0) Tuesday night for the City Series championship, they will attempt to extend two Big Five records and set a new program mark.
A win will give Villanova its 18th consecutive Big Five win and its fourth straight city title. The Wildcats also can post their 17th win in a row dating to last year's 6-0 run in the NCAA tournament, which would be the most in program history.
With all that at stake, 'Nova coach Jay Wright has one thing on his mind - Temple, a team that already has knocked off a pair of nationally ranked teams in Florida State and West Virginia this season.
"To be honest with you, I don't want to think about it," Wright said. "I don't think there's any way that could help us with Temple, so I'm not going to think about it. I want to think about how we stop Temple and what we do against them."
Villanova won its last two City Series games of 2012-13, a season when the Owls won a share of the crown, and before Hart, Jenkins and Reynolds enrolled. The senior trio is 15-0 in the Big Five since then with their lowest margin of victory - 10 points - coming in last Tuesday's 89-79 win over La Salle at the Palestra.
Reynolds, a 6-foot-9 center from Philadelphia, acknowledged that a win over the Owls would be "nice to have on your resumé," but he knows the importance of the task at hand.
"We don't want to focus on that as much as we want to focus on winning the next game," he said. "Obviously the next game is a Big Five game but it's more about the next game. We go into all our games wanting to win, and expecting that we're going to do what we need to do to satisfy each other, trying to get better."
Fran Dunphy, who has been connected with the Big Five for almost 50 years as a player and assistant coach at La Salle, and as a head coach at both Penn and with the Owls, said the Wildcats were "very comparable" to the best Big Five teams of all time.
"I haven't studied the exact wins or the streaks or any of those things," he said, "but they are on a streak that is pretty special. We are all envious of it, how well they've played and the kind of attention to detail they've paid to getting the job done. Jay's done an unbelievable job of putting that all together."
Both teams have ample firepower. Hart, the Big East player of the week, is coming off a career-high 37 points Saturday against Notre Dame and averages 19.5 points and 7.1 rebounds. Temple junior Obi Enechionyia tops the Owls at 18.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.
Dunphy said Hart "is one of those guys that kind of has this unbelievable awareness for the game and what his team needs." Wright said Enechionyia "is as good as anybody in the country."