The VIllanova Wildcats have been the cream of the crop in the Big East over the past few seasons, but the one team that has actually had some amount of regular success against them has been the Butler Bulldogs. Butler memorably swept the Wildcats in the 2016-17 season, then beat them again in their first meeting of the 2017-18 season, before ‘Nova won the next four games against the Bulldogs. This season’s second meeting, coming Wednesday evening at Hinkle Fieldhouse, should be another competitive contest.
Villanova cruised to a 76-61 victory over Butler at Finneran Pavilion on January 21, but that was then Butler was in the midst of their three-game losing streak.
The Bulldogs fell at home to Providence last weekend, and Villanova lost at home against Creighton, so both teams will be looking to get back on track in this one. The Wildcats remain one game behind Seton Hall for first place in the Big East, whereas Butler’s regular season title hopes are likely dead, but they could still finish in the top four of the conference and get a good seed for the Big East Tournament.
In the first meeting, Jermaine Samuels led Villanova with a season-high 20 points, and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl was a force on the glass, hauling in 14 rebounds. Butler got 21 points from Kamar Baldwin and 11 from both Bryce Golden and Bryce Nze in the game, but that was about it. If the Bulldogs want to take down Villanova, they will need a more balanced scoring effort.
KenPom favors the Bulldogs in this game by a 68-64 margin.
How to watch or stream
Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
Streaming: FOX Sports Go