Villanova Basketball: 3 keys for Wildcats matchup vs No. 17 Tennessee

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Jay Wright Villanova Basketball (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Villanova Basketball plays one of the most difficult non-conference schedules of any team this season. Saturday’s matchup with the Tennessee Volunteers is simply the next step.

The Wildcats have already had a cross-country road matchup against No. 2 UCLA, which they ended up losing in overtime. This weekend’s Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament could be the toughest two-game stretch of their entire season, though.

The two-day event will take place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. It features No. 5 Villanova, No. 6 Purdue, No. 17 Tennessee, and No. 18 UNC. The format is straightforward: Villanova vs Tennessee and Purdue vs UNC will take place on Saturday. The winners will play in the championship game at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday. The losers will play in the consolation game at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. That means that regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s games, Nova is guaranteed back-to-back Quad 1 opportunities against Top 20 teams.

Villanova is 3-1 all-time against Tennessee, although just 1-1 in the last 50 years. Jay Wright is 2-2 all-time against Rick Barnes—1-2 when Barnes was at Texas and 1-0 since Barnes has been at Tennessee.

Here are three keys to Wright taking the series advantage over Barnes and Villanova beating Tennessee.

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