How to Watch, Stream, Listen, Follow
Game Time: 7:00 pm EST
TV: CBS Sports Network
Livestream: CBSSports.com, Villanova.com/TuneIn
Matchup History: St. John’s has the upper hand, 59-57.
Villanova is currently up 19 points, according to Odds Shark.
So... St. John’s beat Duke.
I know I’m not alone in thinking that this isn’t as big a deal as some are making it out to be. Let’s face the facts, Duke isn’t the amazing team some pretend they are, and they are nowhere near as good as Villanova - especially on defense. ESPN called Duke’s performance “disgusting,” (as did Duke’s head coach Mike Krzyzewski) and as long as the Wildcat’s don’t act similarly, the game probably won’t end in heartbreak for ‘Nova. I won’t pretend it doesn’t matter at all, but I’d be surprised if they can ride that momentum to beat not only another top-ten ranked team, but the first in the nation. Not only have the Red Storm failed to upend Villanova since 2011, against ranked teams they are just 3-31 since the ‘New Big East’ was created.
The danger that Donte “The Big Ragu” Divincenzo is to St. John’s.
There’s no doubt about it, the Michael Jordan of Delaware plays best when he plays against St. John’s. Just last month, Donte Divincenzo - a six-foot-five RS sophomore guard - scored a career high 25 points against the Red Storm. The kid made over 60% of the shots he took and grabbed seven rebounds. This season he is averaging 13.8 points per game, but be ready for him to try and double that figure Wednesday.
Realistically, what danger does St. John’s pose?
The Red Storm isn’t going to be completely defenseless in this matchup. ‘Nova fans should watch out for #2 Shamorie Ponds, a six-foot-one sophomore guard who is averaging 20.3 points per game, and is currently first in the conference in minutes (36.2 per game) and steals (2.6 per game). He put up 37 points against Villanova in their last matchup, and it is essential the Wildcats guard him well if they want to win.
The two other players that St. John’s will be relying on are Bashir Ahmed, and Tariq Owens. Along with Ponds, the three scored 69 of the team’s 81 points in their last game.
Keep an eye on who gets the ball.
Villanova’s biggest weaknesses in this game will undoubtedly be rebounds and turnovers. The Wildcats are dead last in the Big East in opponent offensive rebounds letting the other team grab an average of more than 9 per game in conference play. Turnovers will be huge in this game - St. John’s forced Duke to give up 18 turnovers in their matchup - the same amount that Villanova gave up in a game versus the Red Storm last year. Villanova is historically great at letting St. John’s take the ball from them, but if head coach Jay Wright has anything to say about it, this game will be quite different.