Villanova Wildcats (23-2) at Providence Friars (16-9)
|Date & Time||Wednesday February 14, 2018, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Providence Friars +9 -- Over/Under: 153.5
The 3rd ranked Villanova Wildcats will travel to the Dunkin Donuts Center to take on the Providence Friars this Wednesday night in College Basketball action.
The 3rd ranked Villanova Wildcats bounced back from their shocking home loss to St. John’s to defeat the Butler Bulldogs, 86-75, this past Saturday to improved to 23-2 (10-2 Big East) on the season. Villanova trailed by a 38-35 margin at halftime, however, the Wildcats were outstanding on the offensively in the 2nd half and pulled away after taking a 75-66 lead with 3:44 left in regulation. Villanova shot 50.8% from the field and outrebounded Butler by a 36-29 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Wildcats was Donte DiVincenzo who had 30 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and a block. On the season, Villanova is averaging 87.8 ppg on 50.6% shooting from the field. The Wildcats are averaging 11.5 three-pointers per game on 40.8% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Villanova has been led by Jalen Brunson (20.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.7 apg), Mikal Bridges (16.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.7 spg, 1.2 bpg), Donte DiVincenzo (14.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.3 spg), and Omari Spellman (10.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.4 bpg). Defensively, Villanova is allowing their opponents to average 70.4 ppg on 43.7% shooting from the field. The Wildcats have a rebound margin of 2.8 and a turnover margin of 3.3. Villanova will most likely be without Eric Paschall as he is currently out indefinitely due to a concussion.
The Providence Friars had their 2-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 16-9 (7-5 Big East) on the season after being defeated by the DePaul Blue Demons, 80-63, this past Saturday. Providence struggled on both sides of the ball and couldn’t fight back after an 18-2 Blue Demons run to start the 2nd half gave DePaul a 58-29 lead with 13:10 left in regulation. Providence shot just 33.8% from the field and 10.5% (2-19) from beyond the arc while allowing DePaul to shoot 60.4% from the field. Leading the way for the Friars was Isaiah Jackson who had 12 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. On the season, Providence is averaging 75.1 ppg on 45.3% shooting from the field. The Friars are averaging 6.4 three-pointers per game on 35.0% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Providence has been led by Rodney Bullock (14.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.0 apg), Alpha Diallo (12.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.1 spg), Kyron Cartwright (10.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 6.0 apg, 1.2 spg), and Jalen Lindsey (10.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.1 spg). Defensively, Providence is allowing their opponents to average 72.6 ppg on 44.1% shooting from the field. The Friars have a rebound margin of 0.8 and a turnover margin of 1.0. Jalen Lindsey is currently questionable for this matchup as he is dealing with concussion like symptoms.
The Wildcats are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Friars are 17-7-1 ATS in their last 25 home game vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600 however, are just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS loss.
Villanova has won 10 of their last 11 games and come into this matchup with one of the most dangerous offenses in the country as the Wildcats currently rank 3rd in scoring offense, 8th in FG%, and 16th in 3P-FG%. Providence had a head-scratching blow loss to DePaul, however, this Friars team still has a good shot to make the NCAA Tournament this season with wins over Xavier, Butler, and Creighton and come into this matchup as a balanced team that ranks 139th in scoring offense and T-185th in scoring defense. Providence has played well at home this season, posting a 11-3 record, and as I think the Friars will have a bounce back game after their disappointing effort against DePaul, I’m taking Providence and the points.