While the Wildcats (17-1, 5-1 Big East) are on the heels of a victory over St. John’s over the weekend, the Pirates (12-5, 2-3 Big East) come into the game on a two-game losing streak, On Saturday, the Pirates had a rather disappointing loss on the road at Providence. The big difference in this game was the level of energy both teams entered the game with, as the Pirates played a very lackluster first half, trailing by 16 points at one point. The Hall went on a big second half run, but that was not enough as they fell 65-61.
How to Watch, Listen and Watch
Location: The Pavilion Villanova, PA
TV: Fox Sports 1 (Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery)
Radio: WMCA 570 AM, 89.5 WSOU, 610 Sports Radio
Spread: Villanova opened as 14-point favorites.
Records ATS: Seton Hall 7-9 | Villanova 12-6
All Time Series
This is will be the 111th meeting between the two squads. In the previous 110, Villanova holds a nice edge of 69-41 over Seton Hall. In their last 10 meetings, the Wildcats are 6-4 against the Pirates.
What to Watch For
If there is any team in the conference that has given Jay Wright and company nightmares since the Big East went through realignment it has been the Seton Hall Pirates. Since the 2013-14 season the Pirates have beaten the Wildcats at least once each season, which no other current Big East team has accomplished. Can the Pirates continue to give the Wildcats nightmares and pull off the upset on the road at the Pavilion?
Out of all of their defeats at the hands of the Pirates, the one still clear in the minds of every Villanova player and fan is last year’s Big East championship game at MSG when Seton Hall defeated Villanova in a classic, 69-67. Three of the Wildcats five starters from last year return in Kris Jenkins, Jalen Brunson and Wooden Award candidate Josh Hart. These three guys will make sure every member of the team is looking at this as a revenge game, and will be sure to make it a very difficult night for the Pirates in front of their fiery crowd at the Pavilion.
Pirates walking the plank
Seton Hall has entered the danger zone as they currently sit at 2-3 in conference play. Their resume is severely lacking a quality road win with their only true road victory of the year coming at Iowa, whose RPI is 107 and KenPom standing is at 86. It is fair to say the team’s effort on defense in the first half against Providence Saturday was embarrassing, as Providence continuously burned the Pirates in transition.
If Seton Hall plays in the first half on Monday as they did against Providence Saturday, they will easily lose by double digits to the Wildcats.
The Hall can make this a tight game and possibly pull off the upset if they do a few things:
Desi Rodriguez must keep playing at the level as he has been. Rodriguez is currently averaging over 20 points per game in conference play and shooting 60 percent from beyond the arc. Angel Delgado, a double-double machine, is looking for his twelfth straight and if Delgado and Ish Sanogo can clean up the glass and limit the Wildcats second chance opportunities that will keep the game close.
The guard play of Seton Hall has been lacking recently especially from a ball security standpoint. Khadeen Carrington, Myles Powell and Madison Jones all need to make smart passes and take disciplined shots as they have been struggling to do that.
Finally, for the Pirates to win, they will need Villanova to play below their standards. Seton Hall has not won in the Pavilion since 1993, so some luck will be needed for a Pirate upset.
Villanova’s Defensive Strategy
Seton Hall’s offense looked clueless Saturday when Providence switched to the 2-3 zone on defense. One thing Jay Wright prides his team on is their staggering 1-2-2 full court press. If Villanova chooses to use this press often, it could create a matchup nightmare for Seton Hall who has the highest turnover percentage in the Big East.