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

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.