How to Watch
When: 7:20 pm EST
Where: XL Center; Hartford, CT
Stream: March Madness Live
Bets are On
Villanova is favored by -4, according to OddsShark.
The defending National Champions are back for their first game in this year’s March Madness Tournament, and the 6-seed Villanova Wildcats are riding quite the high into tonight’s game. After a slew of shaky February road games, ‘Nova finished the season strong by clinching the BIG EAST Championship in a tough-fought 74-72 win over Seton Hall. Lead by the senior veteran duo of Phil Booth and Eric Paschall, the Wildcats are going to need a lot more than experienced teammates to make a strong run in the NCAA Tournament. Sophomore Collin Gillespie leads ‘Nova in their preferred three-point shooting (38.2% 3FGs), and more than ever, coach Jay Wright’s squad needs those deep shots to fall tonight. Freshman Saddiq Bey has been the surprise asset of the season, and will likely continue his tenacious playmaking on both ends of the court.
Conversely, 11-seed Saint Mary’s has also experienced a starry highlight reel this postseason. In a stunning “#THISISMARCH” moment, the Gaels defeated now 1-seed Gonzaga 60-47 for the West Coast Tournament title. Additionally, Saint Mary’s is no stranger to meeting ‘Nova in the Big Dance—back in 2010, Saint Mary’s upset Villanova 75-68 in the second round. Looking to maintain their momentum and repeat past victories, the Gaels are lead by junior Jordan Ford, averaging 21.3 points per game.