Villanova will face its toughest test yet this season when it hosts No. 18 Michigan Wednesday night at Finneran Pavilion as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games.
The Gavitt Tipoff Games pits the Big Ten against the Big East in a series of eight games.
The No. 8 Wildcats (2-0) handily defeated Morgan State 100-77 and Quinnipiac 86-53 to begin their defense of their national championship. This game will be a rematch of last season's national championship game, with the Wildcats posting a 79-62 victory for their second title in three years.
No. 18 Michigan will enter this rematch at 2-0 as well.
Villanova guard Phil Booth scored a career-high 23 points in the 33-point win over the Bobcats. Sophomore guard Collin Gillespie also added a career-best 16 points.
"We weren't thinking about Wednesday coming into this game," Booth told reporters after the win over Quinnipiac. "We were thinking about Quinnipiac. That was our main focus. Now it's time to get ready for Michigan."
Despite losing four players to the NBA from last season's team -- guards Donte DiVincenzo and Jalen Brunson along with forwards Mikal Bridges and Omari Spellman -- the Wildcats are off to a strong start once again. Villanova jumped out to a 47-20 lead over Quinnipiac with timely shooting from its veterans and suffocating defense.
Battling Michigan will provide a measuring stick for the young Wildcats.
"I was proud of our leadership," Villanova head coach Jay Wright told reporters after the win over the Bobcats. "Phil and Eric [Paschall] set a great defensive tone for us in the first half. Collin is now in a leadership role as Phil was as a younger guy and I thought he did a great job too."
Michigan opened the season with a 63-44 win over Norfolk State and a 56-37 victory over Holy Cross.
The Wolverines were led by senior Charles Matthews with 20 points while freshman Ignas Brazdeikis added a career-high 19 points against Holy Cross.
In addition, junior Jon Teske has compiled nine blocked shots in the first two games of the season. Teske had 33 total blocked shots in his first two seasons combined.
Michigan trailed 25-18 at halftime before going on to outscore the Crusaders 38-13 in the second half for the victory.
Now comes an intriguing rematch against the Wildcats.
"I definitely still recall walking off the court and hearing all the Villanova fans going crazy and saying, 'Villanova national champs,'" Michigan guard Jordan Poole told the Detroit News. "It has kind of sat in the back of my mind and it's just fuel to the fire. Isaiah [Livers] and me talk about it. We want it really bad. I mean, I don't even know how to describe it."
Like Villanova, the Wolverines feature a new-look team, though seven players are back from last season.
"The expectations for a team that lost so many good players is probably way too high, and we're not going to worry about them anyhow," Michigan head coach John Beilein told the Detroit News. "I can't let our guys worry about any hype, if we're a nationally ranked team, or where they come out in the early stock. We've just got to try and get better."