Dante Cunningham scored 31 points - matching a career high - as Villanova won its 5th straight in a 102-85 dismantling of the increasingly-shaky Syracuse Orangemen.
Despite a poor 3-11 shooting performance from standout Scottie Reynolds, the Wildcats got plenty of scoring and hustle from the rest of their roster with five players - including Reynolds' 10 points - in double figures.
Corey Stokes scored 16 points, Shane Clark had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Corey Fisher had 14, Both Stokes and Fisher notched three 3s.
Villanova improved to 19-4 on the season and is now 7-3 in the Big East. Their losses have come against the most solid teams in the conference: Louisville (by one point), Marquette and Connecticut. A 67-57 win at Pittsburgh on January 28 is indicative of the Wildcats' mettle.
Meanwhile, the Orangemen are slipping quickly, having lost five of their last seven, all to Big east opponents. The Villanova loss was the second time this season that Jim Boeheim's troops have given up 100 or more points. Providence beat Syracuse 100-94, also on January 28.
Syracuse is now just 6-5 in league play and seems destined to drop out of the Top 25. That would leave the Big East with just 5 ranked teams: Villanova, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Marquette, and, of course, #1 Connecticut.
While Syracuse struggles, look for Cincinnati to fill the void. On Saturday, the Bearcats dropped Georgetown in overtime, 64-62 and are 6-5 in the conference.
Another up-and-comer is West Virginia, a winner Saturday over Providence, 86-59, though the Mountaineers already have suffered defeat at the hands of UConn, Pitt, Marquette, Syracuse and Louisville. They are 5-5 in the conference and 16-7 overall.