College Basketball action within the Big East Conference on Saturday afternoon and we will see the Villanova Wildcats grapple with the Providence Friars at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. Villanova won all three meetings between these teams last year. Villanova enters this game at 15-3 on the year, including 5-1 in the Big East while the Friars have gone 4-3 in league play, including 11-9 overall.
Cats Reel Off Five Wins In A RowThe Villanova Wildcats are having another solid year as they enter this game at 15-3 overall and ranked #11 in the latest AP Poll. KenPom has them ranked a bit less at 18th in the land while having the Cats facing the 29th ranked schedule in the nation. This team has been battle-tested and they have weathered most of the storms that they have faced. Villanova comes into this game having won their last five games in a row and they have been led by their defense over that stretch. The Cats have allowed just 61.6 ppg (In Regulation) during their win streak and they will be facing an averaged offensive team in this one.
In their latest contest, the Wildcats beat Butler at home by a score of 76-61 and their offense did not play all that well in the contest. Villanova shot just 38% from the field overall, including 36% (9/25) from long range but they did hit 21 of their 23 free throw attempts. Nova outscored the Bulldogs 21-4 at the stripe and that was pretty much the difference. Leading their attack in the contest was Jermaine Samuels, who had 20 points while three players had 14 and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had 12 points and 13 boards. The defense was strong as they allowed the Bulldogs to hit just 41% of their shots overall, including 25% (5/20) from long range.
The Wildcats enter this game ranked 95th in the nation in scoring at 74.9 ppg, 147th in field goal percentage at 44.3%, 91st in three-point shooting at 35.2% and 5th in free-throw shooting at 79.0%. On the defensive end of the floor, they are ranked 109th in points allowed at 66.5 ppg, 253rd in defensive FG% at 44.2% and 94th in three-point defense at 31.0%.
Providence Comes In StrugglingThe Providence Friars are not expected to challenge in the Big East Conference but they are 4-3 in league play while going 11-9 overall. This would be a huge win for them in terms of building their resume for the NCAA Tournament and they have faced the 44th ranked slate of games in the nation so far. Their strength of schedule is pretty strong. KenPom has them rated at 73rd in the nation. Having said all that, the Friars do come in struggling a bit as they have lost three of their last four games. The offense has been their issue of late as they have averaged just 64.8 ppg over their last four games. It will not get easier against a very hot Villanova defense.
In their last game, the Friars lost to Seton Hall on the road by a score of 73-64. It was the offense that let them down as the Friars shot just 36% from the field overall and they were just four of 24 (17%) from long range. they will need far better-shooting percentages in this one. Leading their attack in the game was Alpha Diallo, who had 13 points and eight boards while Nate Watson had 10 points. Seton Hall did hit just three of their 13 attempts from long range but they also hit 58% of their shots from the field overall. Their defense will need to be better overall in this one, especially if their offense can't crack the Villanova defensive code.
🔥 Ok, Maliek! pic.twitter.com/UV60VApolG— PC Men's Basketball (@PCFriarsmbb) January 23, 2020
The Friars enter this game ranked 185th in the nation in scoring at 71.4 ppg, 323rd in field goal percentage at 40.5%, 242nd in three-point shooting at 32.2% and 259th in free-throw shooting at 67.5%. On the defensive end of the floor, they are ranked 118th in points allowed at 66.9 ppg, 174th in defensive FG% at 42.3% and 210th in three-point defense at 33.3%.
Trends Are Courtesy Of Covers.com Villanova is:
- 23-10-1 ATS in their last 34 road games following three or more consecutive home games
- 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight-up loss
- 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games as a home underdog