The Villanova Wildcats begin their pursuit of a third consecutive Big 5 title on Tuesday evening when the 'Cats meet the St. Joseph's Hawks at Hagan Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The matchup is the first true road game of the season for the Wildcats, who come into this rivalry game with an unblemished 6-0 record and standing at No. 7 and No. 8 in the Coaches and AP Poll respectively.
St. Joseph's meanwhile walks into this game with a 4-1 record. Their lone loss was to the SEC's Florida Gators at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut back on November 21. The Hawks last played on November 22, defeating the Old Dominion Monarchs 66-64.
How to watch or listen
Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: CBS Sports Network || Channel Finder
No live stream is available for this telecast.
Odds: Villanova opened as a 12.5-point favorite on OddsShark. Elsewhere, at this juncture, they are an 11-point favorite.
Records ATS: Villanova: (4-1 ATS) || St. Joseph's: (2-3 ATS)
O/U: The O/U has opened at 141.5.
This will be the 73rd matchup between the Wildcats and Hawks. Through the first 72, Villanova leads the all-time series 47-25, with a 74-46 victory at The Pavilion last December being the last result.
St. Joe's has not won against Villanova since December 2011.
3 things to watch
1. Will Ochefu's slump persist?: The Villanova Wildcats big man has been sputtering recently and is in need of a big night to shake off the cobwebs that have been created. In his last three games, Ochefu has scored a combined 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds whilst playing just 56 minutes of action. For context, the last time Ochefu was in double figures, he scored 12 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in one game against East Tennessee State. The 'Cats have remained unbeaten but will need their big man to start making serious contributions.
2. 3-point deficiencies: Neither Villanova nor St. Joseph's is efficient at shooting from the perimeter through the first leg of the 2015 season. In fact, they're not even average at it. They're well below-average, bad you might even say. The 'Cats and Hawks rank 259th and 346th in the country in 3-point field goal percentage. While St. Joe's' 3-point rate is at just 32.9 percent, the Wildcats' 3-point rate stands at No. 5 as 50.4 percent of their field goal attempts are from long distance. In turn, both teams happen to be excellent at defending the perimeter, too. So with no weaknesses set to be exposed, expect these deficiencies to continue on Tuesday in Hagan Arena.
3. Bembry vs. Brunson: A matchup of old school vs. new school will take place in Philly when St. Joseph's' DeAndre' Bembry matches up with Villanova's Jalen Brunson in what should prove to be a great point guard encounter. The two are both major contributors for their clubs via KenPom's usage rate tracker. Similarly, both are two top assisters with both having assist rates that rank within the Top 300 in the country. Needless to say, this will be a very fun matchup to watch for in Tuesday night's affair in Philadelphia.