Philadelphia — With Philadelphia swept up in a Super Bowl frenzy, No. 1 Villanova showed again why city sports fans can also brag about having the top team in college basketball.
Just across the street from where the Eagles clinched a Super Bowl spot, the Wildcats used a 22-2 run in the first half to cruise to their sixth straight win, 89-69 over Providence on Tuesday night,
The Wildcats (19-1, 6-1 Big East) are the only program in the AP Top 25 that plays in the shadow of four major pro teams that share a sports complex.
Eric Paschall led six Wildcats in double figures with 17 points, Omari Spellman had 16 and Jalen Brunson scored 15.
Philly is an Eagles city. The Wildcats, even with the 2016 national championship, are just along for the ride.
Villanova was forced to play this season at the Wells Fargo Center, home of the NBA’s 76ers, because of renovations at its on-campus arena. The Wildcats improved to 7-0 in their temporary digs, even though the 20,000-seat arena was maybe half full.
Interest in college hoops doesn’t really pick up around town until the Eagles’ season is over.
More Top 25
(At) No. 2 Virginia 61, No. 18 Clemson 36: Devon Hall scored 14 points, Kyle Guy 12 and Virginia broke open a close game with an 18-2 run in the second half to win their 11th straight.
No. 4 Duke 84, (at) Wake Forest 70: Wendell Carter Jr. had 23 points and 12 rebounds, powering Duke to the road win. Marvin Bagley III had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Blue Devils (18-2, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference).
(At) No. 12 Oklahoma 85, No. 5 Kansas 80: Trae Young had 26 points and nine assists, and Oklahoma rallied to beat Kansas. Christian James scored 15 points and Brady Manek added 14 for the Sooners, who won their 13th straight at home.
(At) No. 14 Texas Tech 75, Oklahoma State 70: Keenan Evans scored 22 of his 26 points after halftime, and Texas Tech rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat Oklahoma State and avoid a third straight loss.
(At) No. 22 Tennessee 67, Vanderbilt 62: Jordan Bowden scored 19 points, Lamonte’ Turner hit a huge 3-pointer as Tennessee nearly blew a 20-point second-half lead before hanging on for a victory over Vanderbilt.
(At) Iowa 85, Wisconsin 67: Freshman Luka Garza had 17 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, Tyler Cook added 17 points and Iowa walloped Wisconsin, snapping a two-game losing streak.
Northwestern 77, (at) Minnesota 69: Bryant McIntosh and Vic Law scored 18 points apiece for the Wildcats (13-9, 4-5 Big Ten), who won their second straight game after losing five of their previous seven contests.
Miami (Ohio) 70, (at) Central Michigan 61: Kevin McKay had 17 points, Shawn Roundtree scored 15 and Cecil Williams 14 but the Chippewas (13-7, 2-5 MAC) came up short at home.
(At) Buffalo 83, Eastern Michigan 69: Paul Jackson scored 20 and Tim Bond added 13 for the Eagles (11-9, 2-5 MAC). James Thompson IV had 16 rebounds.
Toledo 85, (at) Western Michigan 81: Thomas Wilder scored a career-high 40 points for Western Michigan (11-9, 3-4 MAC), which has lost four of its last five games.