Perennial Big East powerhouse Villanova, under the direction of head coach "GQ" Jay Wright, are off to another flying start in conference. However the Pirates of Seton Hall have proved tough sledding of late for Wright's men, taking two of the last three meeting between the teams, including a 64-63 victory two years ago in the Big East Tournament thanks to then-Seton Hall Pirate Sterling Gibbs.
Both teams are currently sitting at 12-2 on the season, 2-0 in conference play, and will be looking to separate themselves from the pack a bit with a win tonight.
Will it be business as usual for the Wildcats, who yet again comes in led by a bevy of talented guards?
Or will the Pirates, led by sixth-year head coach Kevin Willard, stun what's sure to be a packed house at The Pavilion and prove they're ready to compete with the big boys?
How to watch, listen or stream
Game Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: The Pavilion - Villanova, PA
TV: FS1 (Tim Brand and Tarik Turner)
Live Stream: FOX Sports Go where available.
Records ATS: Seton Hall (8-5) || Villanova (9-4)
3 Things to Watch
1. Villanova guards
The more things change, the more they remain the same as the saying goes. Jay Wright has an assortmnet of talented backcourt players at his disposal led by senior point guard Ryan Arcidiacono. Josh Hart, a junior shooting guard, currently leads the 'Cats in scoring at just over 15 points per contest and 'Nova is putting four players in to double digits each game including Arcidiacono, Hart, and scintillating freshman Jalen Brunson. If Wright gets that kind of production out of his back court it could be a long night for the Pirates.
2. Seton Hall's guards
The men tasked with combating those very talented Villanova guards will be Seton Hall's do-everything sophomore Isaiah Whitehead, fellow Brooklyn native and sophomore Khadeen Carrington and slasher Desi Rodriguez . Whitehead is averaging a stout 17 points and eight assists per game while also serving as the heart and soul of Willard's side. A unanimous five-star recruit out of high school, Whitehead is lighting up the scene in New Jersey for a Seton Hall team that may be their most talented in recent history.
Carrington lit up the 'Cats for 17 points off the bench in last season's meeting at the Prudential Center and has carried that hot hands over to the start of this season, averaging a hair under 14 points per game thus far. Oh, and Desi Rodriguez? He'll be sure to be near double figures as well, as he averages over 12 points a game this season for the Pirates. That is, of course, if he plays after being benched vs. DePaul.
If the star men for SHU show up in a big way, we could well be in for an upset on the main line.
If the respective backcourts for Seton Hall and 'Nova do end up canceling each other out, Villanova big man Daniel Ochefu could prove enough to see the Wildcats through with a victory. The senior center has shown visible improvement every year in the program and has turned into a legitimate fringe prospect at the next level.
A load to handle at 6'11, 245, the bruiser from Baltimore is turning in nearly a double-double each game for 'Nova with 10 points and eight boards. Ochefu has shown an incredible ability to work the offensive glass and score easy buckets which have been key to his team jumping out to a hot start in the Big East.