The huge Big 5 game between Temple University and Villanova University on Sunday is officially sold out.
The Owls (13-11 overall, 2-1 Big 5) will entertain the nation’s No. 15th ranked Wildcats (17-6 overall, 3-0 Big 5) at the Liacouras Center in North Philadelphia. The game will be televised on ESPN, with the tipoff at 1 p.m.
This city series game is shaping up to be a pretty interesting matchup.
Temple is on a two-game winning streak, having defeated SMU and Tulane in stunning fashion in the past week.
On Wednesday, Temple edged out Tulane, 72-68, behind 6-foot-8 senior guard Quinton Rose who had a team-high 23 points along with eight rebounds and four assists. Monty Scott came off the bench to score 16 points.
Scott, a 6-foot-5 junior, has played extremely well the last two games. Last Saturday, he had 22 points and six assists in Temple’s 97-90 overtime victory against SMU.
Villanova just snapped a three-game losing streak with a big 72-71 win over Marquette on Wednesday at Finneran Pavilion. The Wildcats were led by freshman forward James Robinson-Earl (17 points, 11 rebounds), junior forward Jermaine Samuels (14 points) and junior guard Collin Gillespie (14 points) and sophomore forward Saddiq Bey (10 points).
Bey is the team’s leading scorer averaging 15.7 points a game while Gillespie is averaging 15.6 points a game and leads Villanova in assists (4.6 apg) and steals (1.3 spg). Robinson-Earl is the Wildcats’ leading rebounder (9.7 rpg).
This game is for bragging rights in the city. In addition, it has implications beyond the Big 5. Temple could really use a big win as the Owls prepare to build some momentum heading down the stretch. Villanova would like to go on a winning steak and improve its national ranking for a better seed in the NCAA tournament.
Lastly, both teams want to be playing at high level when their respective conference tournaments — American Athletic Conference for Temple and Big East Conference for Villanova — begin next month.