No. 18 Xavier looks for 8th straight win Tuesday at No. 23 Villanova

VILLANOVA – Another Quad-1 opportunity awaits the Xavier Musketeers on Tuesday night (7 p.m., Fox Sports 1) at Finneran Pavilion, as well as the chance to do something Xavier's never done before: win a Big East Conference game at Villanova. 

Xavier (11-1, 1-0) heads to Villanova (7-4, 0-1) riding a seven-game win streak, most recently a win Saturday over Marquette in the conference opener, while the Wildcats have dropped two in a row. 

But Villanova's been a tough nut to crack at Finneran Pavilion for the Big East. Since conference realignment (2013-14), the Wildcats have only lost one conference game at the Pavilion (Butler, 2017).

The Musketeers and Wildcats didn't play last season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but both are two of the most experienced teams in the conference, each with a pair of fifth-year seniors who took advantage of the extra year of eligibility because of the pandemic. 

Creighton's Alex O'Connell (5) drives down court against Villanova's Collin Gillespie (2) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 17, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)

Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels both opted to return for a fifth season at Villanova and Xavier's Paul Scruggs and Nate Johnson did the same. 

Scruggs and Gillespie have made a combined 259 career appearances with 194 starts between them, which should create a fun battle in the backcourt. 

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