The more relevant point is that their next three are on the road, starting tomorrow afternoon at Marquette (11-8, 3-3), which was the preseason favorite in the conference. So far, that doesn't seem to be working out. Again, though, it's late January. The Golden Eagles, who have had issues scoring, lost to Ohio State, Arizona State, San Diego State, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Creighton, Xavier and Butler. Five were on the road. And most of those teams will be the 68-team NCAA field. They did just win in overtime at Georgetown (11-7, 3-4), which might not make the tournament.
Speaking of which, the Wildcats get G-town in D.C. Monday night. The Hoyas were picked to finish second. Yet they've lost three straight and four of five, by an average of 12 points per. They are at Creighton tomorrow.
Villanova will lose more games, just because. The schedule says so. But what the Wildcats don't want to do is pull an Ohio State or Wisconsin and turn a one-game losing streak into something more pronounced. It can happen to the best programs. Eventually, it's about what you do in March. This is about putting yourself in the best position to succeed in the Madness.
The Wildcats lost three of their previous five against Marquette, although their win over the nationally ranked Eagles last February helped them get back into the four-letter tournament. They've lost three of their four at the Bradley Center.
They've lost eight of 10 to G-town, including three straight in the Verizon Center. But. like Marquette, they took the only meeting last season, in March when the Hoyas were in the Top 5.
After G-town, the Wildcats have 4 days off before they try to secure a solo Big 5 title at Temple on Groundhog Day.
They have another three-game road trip in the middle of next month that takes them to DePaul, Creighton and resurgent Providence in less than a week.
Sure, the loss to Creighton was a noticeable setback. But the journey is just starting to rev up.