How to Watch
When: 4 p.m. ET
Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse; Indianapolis, Indiana
Stream: CBS Live Stream
Radio: 610 Sports
Bets are On
Villanova is favored by -5.5, according to OddsShark.
Villanova leads the all-time series against Butler 7-2. Interestingly, Villanova’s two losses to Butler both came in the 2016-17 season, with the Bulldogs sweeping the Wildcats both at Hinkle Fieldhouse and the Pavilion.
This afternoon’s game may elicit déjà vu for Villanova and Butler fans. Last season, then-no. 1 ranked ‘Nova came into Hinkle with a hot 14-0 undefeated streak. Flexing home court dominance, then no. 18 ranked Butler decidedly ended the Wildcats’ win rampage 58-66. In fact, out of Villanova’s three total losses last season, Butler served up an additional L later in February. This time at ‘Nova’s home in the Pavilion, the Bulldogs cemented their special status as Wildcat undertakers.
Moving on to this season, Villanova is atop the national polls again, holding another undefeated streak of 13-0. Though nationally unranked this time around, Butler is undoubtedly eyeing to serve a repeat streak-shattering loss.
Butler is no stranger to dramatic games this week, as the Bulldogs bested Georgetown 91-89 in a thrilling double-overtime victory in D.C. on Wednesday. Battling through a 20-point deficit, sophomore Kamar Baldwin lead the Bulldogs with a career-high 31 points. Expect senior Kelan Martin to compliment Baldwin in Butler’s offensive strategy today; Martin was a high-scoring threat against Villanova in both games last season, dropping 22 points at the Pavilion.
Villanova will not be looking to rest on their loss-less laurels, but rather lead with their amped-up offense. Junior Mikal Bridges, who has dropped at least-20 points in five games so far this season, will likely continue his trend of electric shooting. Joining him, fellow junior Jalen Brunson leads ‘Nova’s scoring, averaging 17.9 points a game. With the addition of key defense-minded players like Omari Spellman and Eric Paschall, the Wildcats promise to deliver another nail-biting game in Indianapolis.