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Cole Swider Set to Face Former Team

How the former Villanova forward is approaching Tuesday night's game.

Former Big East foes clash in New York City this Tuesday night as the Syracuse Orange take on the No. 6 Villanova WIldcats in the Jimmy V Classic in Madison Square Garden.

These storied programs have met 72 times, and the Orange hold a 39-33 advantage in the series. Their last meeting was in 2014, where Syracuse lost in overtime. Despite that loss, the Orange have won five of the last eight meetings.

This game may be more meaningful to new transfer forward Cole Swider than any other member of the Orange, as he left Villanova last season to join Syracuse. He still says he wants the game to be treated like any other, and to put the team first.

“I think the approach doesn’t change,” Swider said. “I think every game we’re trying to win, we’re trying to play well. It’s not just Villanova”.

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The Orange are coming off of a massive win at Florida State, technically a Quad 2 win in the recent NET rankings, but their first win in Tallahassee since 2014. Swider sunk the two clutch free throws to help seal the win for Syracuse.

The Orange currently rank No. 117 in the NET rankings, and Villanova is No. 5.

“There’s a lot of ups and downs in a season, we’re just trying to play our best basketball against Villanova, hopefully come out with a win and obviously just play good basketball," Swider said. 

The Wildcats are 6-2 on the season, beating Mount St. Mary’s, Howard, Tennessee, La Salle, Penn and Saint Joseph’s, while losing to UCLA in overtime and Purdue, who is now ranked No. 1 in the most recent AP Poll.

“Obviously it’s an emotional game, but at the same time they wanna kick my butt, I wanna kick their butt,” Swider said. “Hopefully we come outta there with a big win”.

The Orange tip off against the Wildcats at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN.