How to Watch
When/Where: Noon ET; Madison Square Garden, NY, NY
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
Radio: 570AM WMCA & 970AM WNYM (New York) / 610 Sports (Philadelphia)
St. John’s and Villanova have a close match-up history, with the Johnnies beating ‘Nova 59-55 overall. However, the most recent bout of games reveal little edge for St. John’s. Villanova has triumphed over St. John’s for 11 straight games—in fact, St. John’s last defeat of Villanova occurred back in February 2011.
St. Johns will be feeling hot, and hopefully not too tired, coming off their thrilling 74-73 defeat of Georgetown last night. The high-octane (and tension) shoot-out against the Hoyas triggered next-level hustle for the Red Storm, and much to the appreciation of St. John’s fans, Shamorie Ponds continued his splashing ways. Nailing 17 points and five rebounds, the freshman flaunted post-season cool on the court, and all signs point to those splashes dripping against ‘Nova today.
On the other hand, this is Villanova’s first tournament game. Well-rested from their own defeat of Georgetown this past Saturday, the Wildcats can finally begin to avenge their defeat to Seton Hall for last year’s Big East championship.
Playing against the Johnnies has a tendency to evoke standout playing from ‘Nova. During their January matchup at Madison Square Garden, freshman Donte DiVincenzo had a breakthrough game, scoring the team-high of 19 points. Additionally, senior Josh Hart’s game-high of 26 points against St. John’s in February at the Pavilion serves as the highest-number of points Hart has put up in Big East conference play.
Interestingly, the noted affinity St. John’s has for three-pointers resulted in season-high rebounding efforts by Villanova. The 41 nabbed on the road in January and 40 grabbed at home in February mark the highest achieved by ‘Nova in conference play, with an particularly specialized emphasis on grabbing offensive rebounds.
Further, the Red Storm may be the #8 seed, but by no means does that translate into an easy W path for the Wildcats. In the two regular season games played this year, ‘Nova won both games by only 13 points. Jay Wright’s squad weathered through multiple bursts of St. John’s shots beyond the arc, and expect major three-pointers to rain today as well.