Houston Cougars (32-6) vs. Villanova Wildcats (29-7)
March 26, 2022 6:09 pm EDT
The Line: Villanova Wildcats +2 / Houston Cougars -2; Over/Under: 128
(Click here for latest betting odds)
The 5-seed Houston Cougars & 2-seed Villanova Wildcats will square off at the AT&T Center this Saturday in the Elite 8 of the NCAA Championship.
The 5-seed Houston Cougars improved to 32-6 on the season after defeating the 1-seed Arizona Wildcats, 72-60, this past Thursday. Houston was incredible defensively against the high-scoring Arizona offense and was able to hold off the Wildcats for the victory after taking a 61-49 lead with 7:10 left in regulation. Houston shot 46.0% from the field & 45.0% from beyond the arc while holding Arizona to just 33.3% from the field & 31.8% from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Cougars was Jamal Shead who had 21 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, & 2 steals.
On the season, Houston is averaging 75.7 ppg on 46.9% shooting from the field. The Cougars are averaging 8.0 three-pointers per game on 34.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Houston has been led by Kyler Edwards (14.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.1 spg), Fabian White Jr. (12.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.1 spg, 1.4 bpg), Josh Carlton (11.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.2 bpg), Taze Moore (10.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.6 spg), & Jamal Shead (10.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.9 apg, 1.7 spg).
Defensively, Houston isholding their opponents to an average of 59.0 ppg on 37.4% shooting from the field. The Cougars had a rebound margin of 7.2 and a turnover margin of 3.2.
The 2-seed Villanova Wildcats improved to 29-7 on the season after defeating the 11-seed Michigan Wolverines, 63-55, this past Thursday. Villanova was outstanding defensively against Michigan and was able to hold off the Wolverines for the victory after taking a 54-45 lead with 5:18 left in regulation. Villanova shot 37.3% from the field & 30.0% from beyond the arc while holding Michigan to 34.4% shooting from the field & 33.3% from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Wildcats was Jermaine Samuels who had 22 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks, & 2 steals.
On the season, Villanova is averaging 72.5 ppg on 43.7% shooting from the field. The Wildcats were averaging 9.4 three-pointers per game on 36.0% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Villanova has been led by Collin Gillespie (15.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.0 spg), Justin Moore (15.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.0 spg), Jermaine Samuels (11.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.4 apg), Caleb Daniels (10.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg), & Brandon Slater (8.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.1 spg).
Defensively, Villanova is holding their opponents to an average of 62.7 ppg on 40.8% shooting from the field. The Wildcats had a rebound margin of 2.4 and a turnover margin of 2.0.
The Cougars are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win & 26-9 ATS in their last 35 neutral site games. The Wildcats are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall, however, are just 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win.
Houston has been outstanding on both ends of the floor this season as the Cougars come into this this game ranked 55th in scoring offense, 3rd in scoring defense, & 1st in defensive FG%. Villanova has been led by their defense which ranks 23rd in scoring defense & 41st in defensive FG, and although the Wildcats rank just 138th in scoring offense, Villanova has been great from beyond the arc, ranking 22nd in three-pointers made per game & 56th in 3P-FG%.
Villanova is a great team, however, we have seen the offensive at times be inconsistent this season, especially if the three-pointer isn’t falling. Houston has arguably had the best defense in College Basketball this season and between the fact that the Cougars have looked unstoppable so far in the NCAA Tournament and that I think Villanova is going to struggle to put up points in this one, I’m taking Houston to cover this small spread. Good Luck!