How to Watch
When: 8:30 PM EST
Where: Wells Fargo Center; Philadelphia, PA
Bets are On
Villanova is favored by -11, according to OddsShark.
After taking a brief snooze during the holidays, the Villanova Wildcats are now back on the national rankings stage. Thanks to the latest AP Poll, the Wildcats are feelin’ 22, much like the Taylor Swift hit single (on the equally transformative Red album).
Standing 4-0 in BIG EAST play, ‘Nova looks to defend their undefeated 2019 stats against Xavier in their first conference action of the season inside the Wells Fargo Center. Offensively, senior Phil Booth will likely continue to lead the Wildcats’ scoring efforts. Topping Villanova’s internal scoreboard by averaging 18.2 points per game, Booth also recently dropped a near-season high 28 points against ‘Nova’s 90-78 victory over Creighton in Omaha. Though not as statistically-impactful as his senior counterparts, freshman Jahvon Quinerly is poised to further display his increasingly dynamic development. Steadily amassing greater playing time, the previously-benched freshman has made a habit of unleashing flashes of defensive hustle and offensive spark.
For Xavier, the Musketeers come into the City of Brotherly Love 3-2 in BIG EAST play, with a recent two-game winning streak against Butler and Georgetown. Lead by new head coach Travis Steele, the Musketeers face a tall task bringing down ‘Nova’s hot streak. While Xavier’s roster doesn’t tout an individual “off-the-charts” shooter, the Musketeers maintain their offensive presence through an even-keeled effort among players. Sophomores Paul Scruggs and Naji Marshall top scoring for Xavier, each averaging 13.2 points per game. Junior Quentin Goodin trails closely behind, averaging 12.6 points and a team-high of 76 assists.