The Villanova Wildcats have been on a roll lately and nothing seems to be slowing them down. Ever since their 86-75 loss to Virginia, the Wildcats have reeled of nine straight wins, most notably over Butler, Georgetown, and a blowout win over Xavier.
The winning streak has improved 'Nova's record to 17-2 and 7-0 in conference and puts them at the top of the BIG EAST. Although they looked shaky in their last win over Seton Hall, Villanova still has not lost in conference play which is quite impressive considering what we have seen this year around the realm of college basketball.
If Jay Wright and his team keep playing like this then what is stopping them from being a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament? If we look ahead, not too much may be in their way.
Meanwhile, the Providence Friars has been cooking up a storm as well in the BIG EAST. Despite having their nine-game winning streak snapped a few games ago, Providence still has a record of 16-3 and currently sit in 4th place in the BIG EAST.
But they suffered a disappointing loss to Seton Hall in a game where they could not find any rhythm on offense. With the likes of Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil on the team, offense should come easy for Providence but it doesn't for some reason. They look skittish and sometimes wildly inefficient. Now they will face a tough defensive team in Villanova and if there was a chance for Kris Dunn to shine again, the time is now. He did against Butler as he scored key buckets and made plays for his teammates late down the stretch. Now it's time for him to do that against one of the best teams in the country.
A snowstorm postponed this game from Saturday to Sunday afternoon so it will be interesting to see if the teams made any changes in the game that they wouldn't have made if the game was played at the scheduled time.
How to watch, listen, or stream
Game Time: 1 p.m. ET
Radio: WTEL 610 AM (Villanova) || WEEI 103.7 FM (Providence)
Stream: Streaming is available via FOX Sports GO.
Odds: Villanova opened as a whopping 13-point favorite. The line dropped slightly to 12.5 in some locations. All spread info comes from OddsShark.
Record ATS: Providence (11-7) || Villanova (10-8)
O/U: The O/U is 134. Others have it at 135, 135.5, and 136. Choose wisely.
3 Things to watch for
1. Consistency on offense for Providence: Providence has been off and on in terms of offensive production in the past few games and Ed Cooley's team needs to straighten it out. They struggled against Seton Hall and Butler for much of the game. The likes of Bentil, who leads the team in scoring with 19.9 points per game, and Dunn need to step up for Providence. Also guys like Rodney Bullock, who leads the team in field goal percentage, need to step up as well. It will need to be a complete team effort for Providence if they want to take down the 'Cats in Philadelphia.
2. Battle of the point guards: It will be a clash of fantastic point guards as Kris Dunn will suit up for Providence and he will face the duo of Ryan Arcidiacono and Jalen Brunson. Arcidiacono is the facilitator in 'Nova's offense as he leads the team in dimes with around 4.5 assists per game. Meanwhile Brunson is the star freshman who has come on of late, as he is averaging 10.2 points per game. They will be facing someone who many consider the best player in the conference and the country as well in the form of Kris Dunn. We all saw Dunn at his best against Butler when was able to close out the Bulldogs by himself as he hit a clutch three and a dish to Bentil. This will be a great matchup nonetheless and let's hope all three bring their best.
3. Can Ryan Arcidiacono shoot himself out of his slump?: The star point guard has not been himself the past couple of games as he has shot poorly from the field including a 3-of-9 performance against Seton Hall and shooting 0-for-6 from the 3-point line against Georgetown. He ended up making the game winning field goal which made up for the poor night but he simply has to start shooting better. He can get off to a good start Sunday afternoon in Philly.