Date: Saturday, February 22
Game Time: 2:30 ET
Against Temple and DePaul, the Wildcats connected on 35-of-62 – a ridiculous 57% – from three in blowout wins. If they shoot like that they will never lose, but as we all know that is not sustainable. The Musketeers, on the other hand, have played much better as of late. They are led by Tyrique Jones who is a double-double machine.
Keys to the Game
Xavier defending the perimeter! Xavier is great at defending the 3-balls and you have to figure that this insane Villanova hot-streak can’t continue, can it? If it does continue then Villanova will win.
Rebounding and Free Throw Shooting
Xavier has struggled big-time at the line and they can not struggle in this game at the line. Rebounding is another area that Xavier has to clean up. They can not allow the Wildcats any second shots because Villanova shoots the ball too well.
Xavier has one huge advantage in this game and that is the Cintas Center which is one of the toughest places to play in the country. Both teams have a lot to still play for. Villanova has a very real shot to win the Big East regular-season title and Xavier, with a win, puts themselves in a good position to make the field of 68 come March.
The Musketeers back-court must play at the top of their game to have a shot in this one. Zac Freemantle will play a pivotal role, as will Jason Carter. Carter has not played as well lately, so he will need to step it up. Quentin Goodin and Paul Scruggs must be consistent in playing the tempo the Musketeers want to play at. If they can Xavier has a real shot to pull the upset. Xavier takes this one at home in a barn-burner.
Xavier 77, Villanova 76