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Villanova set to face UConn in third-round NCAA tourney matchup of former Big East rivals

  • Villanova NCAA Basketball-1.jpg

    Villanova coach Jay Wright speaks during a media session during the the men's NCAA college basketball tournament at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y., Friday, March 21, 2014. (AP Photo/The Buffalo News, Harry Scull Jr.) (The Associated Press)

  • 4facd6d044d90c0b4f0f6a706700c8e0.jpg

    Villanova's Darrun Hilliard II (4) celebrates with teammates during second half of a second-round game against Milwaukee in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, March 20, 2014. Villanova won 73-53. (AP Photo/Nick LoVerde) (The Associated Press)

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    Connecticut's DeAndre Daniels hugs Shabazz Napier, front, after Napier scored after a foul during overtime of a second-round game against Saint Joseph's in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, March 20, 2014. Connecticut won 89-81. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (The Associated Press)

  • d07d4e87441f080b4f0f6a706700c0b0.jpg

    Connecticut's Shabazz Napier drives to the basket during the second half of a second-round game against Saint Joseph's in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, March 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Nick LoVerde) (The Associated Press)

  • NCAA Connecticut Basketball-5.jpg

    Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie responds to a question during an NCAA college basketball tournament news conference in Buffalo, N.Y., Friday, March 21, 2014. Connecticut plays Villanova in a third round game on Saturday. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (The Associated Press)

Villanova coach Jay Wright is confident it won't take the opening 15 minutes for his players to earn the respect of their next NCAA tournament opponent.

Unlike Milwaukee, Connecticut is no stranger to the Wildcats in a round of 32 matchup pitting two former and long-time Big East rivals on Saturday night.

Wright on Friday acknowledged it took a while for the slow-starting Wildcats to find their rhythm against Milwaukee, before coasting to a 75-53 second-round victory.

The Huskies (27-8), the East Region's seventh seed, by comparison already have the attention of the No. 2-seeded Wildcats (29-4).

The two previously played in the Big East, before the conference was pulled apart by defections and realignment last year.

Villanova is still a member, while UConn has switched over to the American Athletic Conference.

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