PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- One day after seeing 12 of its players suspended for using an unauthorized phone code, Villanova closes the regular season Sunday with a Big East Conference matchup at the First Union Center against No. 7 Pittsburgh.
Villanova (15-13, 8-7 Big East East) announced Saturday that 12 players have been suspended for at least three games each for using an unauthorized telephone code. The suspensions need to be staggered in order for the Wildcats to have seven players available for each game.
"This is a situation of some good, young men making poor decisions and probably at the time, not understanding the consequences of the decision," Villanova coach Jay Wright said.
The only players not suspended for Villanova are junior guard Tom Grace and freshmen guards Mike Claxton and Baker Dunleavy, who is sitting out as a redshirt.
As a result, Claxton and Grace are among the seven players eligible on Sunday. The others are junior Derrick Snowden, sophomore Marcus Austin and freshmen Randy Foye, Allan Ray and Curtis Sumpter. Foye and Ray each average 10 points per game, tops among Sunday's eligible players.
With a win, Villanova will earn the third seed out of the West Division and face West Virginia in the first round of the Big East tournament. A loss pushes the Wildcats, who have dropped three straight, into fourth and a meeting with Georgetown.
Pittsburgh (22-4, 12-3 West) still has an outside shot at the top seed out of the West. The Panthers are tied with Syracuse but the Orangemen own the tiebreaker and will earn the top seed with a win on Sunday over Rutgers.
Julius Page scored 16 points and Ontario Lett added 15 as Pittsburgh won its fifth straight game with Wednesday's 86-54 rout of Seton Hall. The panthers overcame poor foul shooting, converting only 11-of-23.
The Panthers are seeking to tie last season's school record of 13 conference wins and improve upon a 4-3 Big East road record.
Villanova has won 14 of 18 home matchups with Pitt.