The next installment in the celebrated rivalry between the Villanova Wildcats and Georgetown Hoyas gets underway Saturday afternoon in our nation's capital. At the Verizon Center, the No. 6 team in the land will clash with the talented yet inconsistent Hoyas in what should be nothing short of a barnburner.
Villanova comes off of yet another win at The Pavilion against the upset-minded Marquette Golden Eagles. Georgetown, meanwhile, picked up a road victory at Madison Square Garden against the lowly St. John's Red Storm. With big implications in store, the 'Cats and the Hoyas will no doubt get it on with wild intensity on Saturday in D.C.
How to watch or listen
Game Time: 1 p.m. ET
No streaming is available for this telecast.
Spread: Villanova's opened as a 7-point favorite via OddsShark. Others have them as a 7.5-point favorites.
Records ATS: Villanova (10-6) || Georgetown (9-8)
O/U: The O/U opened up at 139.5. At BetDSI, it's at 138.
3 things to watch
1. Will Villanova's 3-point shooting woes continue?: In their 7-game winning streak, Villanova's 3-point shooting hasn't improved much. They've shot 33.3 percent from the perimeter during this stretch, keeping their season total to 31.8 percent from long range. Saturday could represent a chance for 'Nova to get off the schneid as Georgetown's perimeter defense has been less than stellar, shall we say.
The Hoyas have allowed a 3-point field goal percentage of 35.7 percent, and a mark of 39.4 percent in conference play so far. That's good for eighth-best - or third-worst - in the BIG EAST. Villanova's 34.7 percent mark in conference play ranks fourth in the league, so the Wildcats could have 3-pointers raining down from the rafters if all goes well.
2. What does D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera have for an encore? The senior guard lit up New York City and Madison Square Garden Wednesday night for 33 points against the St. John's Red Storm. The 33 points scored by DSR were a personal best inside The World's Most Famous Arena and against a heavyweight in the conference, Smith-Rivera will likely be bringing his A-game to 'The Phone Booth.'
For what it's worth, only twice has DSR scored more than 20 points after the 12 times he has dropped 25 or more in the previous game.
3. Daniel The Defensive Ace: Not only has big man Daniel Ochefu has been one of the most dominant off-ball defenders in the BIG EAST, he's been one of the most dominant in the country. The 6-foot-11 center for the Wildcats sports a DRtg of just 81.3, is blocking 4.6 shots per 100 possessions, has a Defensive Rebounding% of 17.5 percent and has been a force at protecting the rim all year.
His DRtg of 81.3 is the third-best mark in the country, trailing Chinanu Onuaku's (Louisville Cardinals) 77.4 rating and Egidijus Mockevicius (Evansville Purple Aces) who has posted a DRtg of 81.2. He'll be challenged by Georgetown's slew of big men in the form of Bradley Hayes and Jessie Govan and the lengthy, rim-attacking Isaac Copeland as well. The anchor of 'Nova's excellent defense will be put to task on Saturday afternoon. From what we've seen so far, he might just be up to that task and more.