Temple has knocked off a couple of top 25-ranked teams earlier in the season, beating Florida State and Colorado in back-to-back games.
Will the Owls be able to pull off another upset and take the Big 5 crown away form their rivals?
How to watch, listen, and stream
Game Time: Tuesday, December 13, at 7 p.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports 1
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go (where available)
Villanova is a 16.5-point favorite, according to Oddsshark.com
The Wildcats currently lead the all-time series against their Philadelphia rivals, the Owls, 46-42.
What to Watch For
Josh Brown’s Return
Temple senior Josh Brown is coming off of his best game during his free trial period. The 6-3 guard suffered a torn Achilles during the offseason and has given himself in a seven-game test run to decide if he wants to play for the rest of the season, or get a medical redshirt and come back next year to play his final season as an Owl.
In Temple’s previous game against DePaul he played 28 minutes, the most he’s ever played since his return on Nov. 30. During that stretch, he was very effective, tallying 10 points, seven steals, five assists—all while turning the ball over just one time.
He said he’s taking it day-by-day and is unsure of how he will feel against Villanova, but coming off of a performance like that and a game against the top-ranked team in the country—it’s hard to see Brown allowing himself to sit this one out.
A Nice Blend of New and Old
The Owls have a fine mix of veterans and freshmen coming together and playing well with each other. Brown’s presence definitely adds to that, but aside from him, Obi Enechionyia has emerged as the Owls’ top scorer. He’s averaging 18.6 points per game and is doing so at the most efficient rates he’s ever done at the collegiate level, shooting 46.9 percent overall and an even better 49.2 percent from long range. He’s really improved his 3-point shooting and so far, so good.
Then there’s fifth-year senior Daniel Dingle, who’s having the most productive season of his career. He’s averaging in double figures for scoring for the first time in his life (11.4 points per game) and averages 4.6 boards per game.
Meanwhile, there’s freshmen Shizz Alston Jr. and Quinton Rose, who are coming along very nicely. Alston is an all-around guard who can score, dish, and rebound. He’s the second-highest scorer on the team (12.8 points per game) but has some issues with efficiency and consistency, shooting a slightly under par 39.8 percent on the floor and an even worse 26.8 percent from beyond the arc.
As for Rose, he’s a double digit scorer and has been a steady contributor offensively.
The Wildcats are going for their fourth straight Big 5 outright title. They’ve taken care of every one else so far, and will get a chance to go for a sweep against Temple. Villanova’s a favorite to do it again, and there’s a chance for the Wildcats’ senior class to finish their careers without losing a single Big 5 game.
Headlined by National Player of the Year candidate Josh Hart, who’s coming off of a monstrous 37 point, 11 rebound performance against Notre Dame, national championship hero Kris Jenkins, and bruising enforcer Darryl Reynolds, Villanova’s seniors can make it 16-0 for their careers.