The No. 5 Villanova Wildcats play host to the Xavier Musketeers at the Pavilion at Villanova University on Wednesday, January 14 at 9:00 P.M. Here's what you need to know for your viewing pleasure.
Fox Sports 1 will have the coverage of this match up. Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery will have the call for FS1.
In Philadelphia, the game will be covered by 990 and 610 WIP on the AM channels through the IMG Villanova Radio Network. In Ohio, you can tune in to 700 WLW-AM. Xavier's website also states station is also available nationally on IHeartRadio.com.
In addition to the foregoing, subscribers can watch via Villanova All-Access. You can also use FOX Sports Go, provided you have a cable package that gets Fox Sports 1.
Spread: Villanova (-9.5)
Villanova is looking to maintain their standing as the cream of the crop in the Big East. They have moved back into the top 5 and the Musketeers could be another RPI-boosting win for the veteran squad from the Main Line. Xavier on the other hand would benefit greatly from a win, giving them a marquee win. It will not be easy for the Muskies as they play in Villanova's small, but intense, Pavilion. With students back on campus this week, they will have a lot of energy to support the home squad. Villanova is looking to stay on top of the Big East and keep pace with DePaul , Providence and Seton Hall while Xavier wants to avoid falling under .500 in league play for the year.
Inside the Numbers:
The Muskies enter at 11-5 (2-2) and the Wildcats hold an impressive 15-1 record (3-1). Both teams are apart of the 7 top 40 RPI teams from the Big East Conference. The Jesuits from Ohio have an RPI of 36 while the Augustinians from Philly lead the Big East with the No. 4 RPI. ( As per ESPN ) In the other metrics, Sagarin has Villanova at No. 6 and Xavier at No. 26 and KenPom has the 'Cats at 5 and the Musketeers at 26. Villanova is by far the best team Xavier has faced in the season thus far. It will be interesting to see how they handle the pressure.
This game has all the makings of a classic match-up, with two top 30 conference foes, both of whom are in the hunt for the postseason. Look for Matt Stainbrook (12.4 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.1 APG) and Daniel Ochefu (10.1 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.5 BPG) to battle underneath all night. Ochefu is well rested after playing only 18 minutes win over DePaul on Saturday while Stainbrook looks to get on a roll after a 21 point 5 rebound performance in a loss to Butler on Saturday.
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