How to watch, listen, or stream
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: 610 Sports (WTEL-AM) in Philadelphia, WSCR (670 AM) in Chicago
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Over/Under: 110 points
All Time Series
Villanova leads DePaul 22-8 in the series. The Blue Demons have not defeated the Wildcats since 2008
Entering conference play undefeated and as the reigning national champions, Villanova has the benefit of facing a struggling DePaul team in their opening Big East matchup.
The Blue Demons (7-6) have lost four of their last six game, including humiliating defeats to Missouri State and The University of Illinois at Chicago. Eli Cain has been the lone bright spot in a disappointing season as he leads the team in scoring. That said, he has struggled of late. Scoring only 11 points in two losses against the aforementioned Bears of Missouri State and Wyoming, DePaul does not have much offense outside of him. Billy Garrett Jr. averages 14 points, but is careless with the ball. He turns the ball over just as much as he assists others and shoots under 35 percent. With no consistent post offense, DePaul is not prepared to attack the one weakness of Villanova: interior defense.
Already 12-0 and ranked No. 1 in the nation, Villanova is battle-tested. They already have amassed a road victory over Purdue of the Big Ten and a comeback win against Top 20 ranked Notre Dame. The Wildcats have used their experience of winning the National Title last year and star power from senior Josh Hart to jump start their season.
Hart, who averaged 20 points in nonconference play, is a favorite for National Player of the Year in most polls and is the unquestioned star of this team. Senior Kris Jenkins, the hero of last year, has taken a backseat in terms of scoring, but is shooting career highs in 3-point and free-throw percentage. Senior Darryl Reynolds and sophomore Eric Paschall have filled in admirably for the absence of blue-chip freshman Omari Spellman underneath, allowing for the two seniors as well Jalen Brunson to carry the scoring load.
On paper, Villanova should have no issue with DePaul.
If you are a fan of close basketball games that come down to the wire, this game is not for you. These two teams are heading in opposite directions. The Wildcats are deeper, more athletic, and better coached. Unless DePaul plays incredible basketball, expect an easy win for Jay Wright and company.