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Syracuse vs. Villanova: Talkin' Nova With The Nova Blog

It's called The Nova Blog, what else would you have me discuss with them?

Chris was kind enough to answer some questions I threw his way in regard to Saturday's Syracuse-Villanova game. Check out his answers below, then go check out my answers to his questions and then go check out Chris' answers to Brian Harrison's questions and then go check out Brian's answers to Chris' questions and make sure everyone's on the same page.

Before the season, if I told you Villanova would be 16-2 and No. 7 in the nation, would you have been disappointed, surprised or thought that sounded exactly right?

I'd say that sounds just about right. I actually had us losing both the games we lost so far and winning everything else when I took a stab at predicting the season. Now, I don't know if I thought we'd be a consensus Top-10 team at this point, but I thought we'd be off to a good start.

Looking back, that Tennessee loss befuddles me. I have no idea how we got smacked around in that game like we did considering what the Vols have been up to lately.

If you had to put one player from Villanova up in a one-on-one tournament, which Corey would it be?

Corey Fisher, without a doubt. Anybody who can score 105 points in a game is a no-brainer. Now, if we're talking a contest of 3-balls or free throws, it's Corey Stokes.

Who has been the biggest surprise on the Wildcats this year? Biggest disappointment?

The biggest revelation has been Isaiah Armwood believe it or not. A lot of fans thought he would wind up transferring before the season starts, and while he doesn't play a whole lot, when he gets in he literally gives 200%. If I could get 'rebounds per minute' as a stat, I'd guarantee he'd be up near the top. His energy and defense has been vital to our last few games, especially the comeback win over Maryland.

How much do Villanova fans want this win in the Dome after last year? Have the players made any mention of vengeance?

I think the way we lost last year's game is definitely going to be in the minds of some of the players. For all the hype that game got, we were only in it for the first 10-12 minutes it felt like. That kind of loss definitely stings me as a fan, and I'm sure it does to the players as well. Jay Wright is probably more concerned with not losing 2 BIG EAST games in a row. We don't want to turn into Georgetown, ya know?

No mention of vengeance by the players, but knowing the personalities of the kids on the team, I'm sure they haven't forgotten.

Considering we always seem to break our own attendance records when you guys come to town, do you consider Syracuse a major rival?

I personally do, and I think a lot of it has to do with the great games in recent years. Both schools have had marquee players in the conference who developed rivalries with each over multiple years of competing - which makes it better as a fan when you can hate a guy like Devendorf over multiple seasons.

I had this discussion with Brian Harrison at O::44 and I let him know that 'Nova fans are generally pretty split. We don't like you, UConn, Pitt or Georgetown at all. And we have this weird thing with Rutgers too, but it's probably Jersey Shore-related.

Do you feel like Jay Wright could turn into a Boeheim and stay with Nova for decades or do you think he could be lured away by a Kentucky or Kansas if they wanted him?

Not a chance he goes to another college. He's deeply rooted in the area, met his wife at Villanova, young kids, etc. I think the only job that was going to lure him away (the Philadelphia 76ers) has passed for the time being. He truly loves the school. I think if he said he said this would be his last job, 'Nova Nation would go wild. We love the guy, and want him to be our Boeheim, Calhoun, etc.

There have been some rumblings that if we don't move up in football, he's going to leave when his contract runs up. He sees the writing on the wall like the rest of us - something the BOT has yet to see.

Villanova football, are you guys joining the Big East or what? How do you feel about it?

Still no clue, although the latest word is still 'no', but starting to swing in the direction of 'yes.' The alumni and students have done a good job of letting the administration know that we want it. I haven't talked to a single Villanova person who is outwardly against the move. Most people would relish the chance to bring major college football to campus. Who doesn't want to head down and make a day out of it 6-7 times a year?

Gut feeling: We say yes in April.

When its all said and done, who wins the Big East regular season title and who wins the Big East Tournament?

I think Pitt is going to be the regular-season champ. They are the most-balanced team right now and have a lot of experience that will serve them well through the meat-grinder known as the BEAST.

As for the tournament, it's such a crap shoot. A team that 'needs' that title never wins it, so it's going to be an NCAA-Tournament caliber team that takes down New York. We suck every year in that tournament, so it won't be us. What is Syracuse going off at in Vegas? My money's on you.

How do you see Saturday shaking out?

Like I told BH, I wish I could say 'Nova can pull this out. If Kris Joseph is out, we have a shot. If he's out and Dominic Cheek is in, we have an even better shot. Considering how we handled the atmosphere last year (read: it ate us alive) I'm fearful. Maybe 12 p.m. is too early for Orange fans to create pandemonium?

Syracuse wins by 8-10.

Good answer! Keep an eye on The Nova Blog for more updates.