As the Big East regular season winds down, the No. 8 Seton Hall Pirates (21-7, 13-3 Big East) and No. 14 Villanova Wildcats (22-7, 11-5 Big East) meet again on Wednesday night. These two programs previously faced off on Feb. 8 in Philadelphia, with Seton Hall prevailing 70-64.
This is the 120th meeting all-time between Nova and The Hall. Villanova holds the 76-43 advantage in the series, but Seton Hall has won two of the last three matchups.
Time & Place: 8:30 PM Eastern, Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
TV: FS1 (Gus Johnson, Bill Raftery)
Radio: AM970 (Seton Hall; Gary Cohen, Dave Popkin), 610 ESPN Radio (Villanova; Ryan Fannon, Whitey Rigsby)
Streaming: FOX Sports Go
Team Ratings (Points Scored/Allowed per 100 possessions) (via cbbref.com): Seton Hall: 105.1/94.0 (101st/53rd); Villanova: 107.5/97.0 (56th/115th)
Wednesday night is Seton Hall’s Senior Night, as Myles Powell, Quincy McKnight, Romaro Gill, and Asiah Avent will all be honored. What better gift than to get a win and earn the program’s first Big East regular season title since 1993? The Pirates have already clinched a share of it, but can win it outright with a victory in either of their final two games.
Seton Hall enters Wednesday on a three-game winning streak, with Powell and junior forward Sandro Mamukelashvili leading the charge. The duo combined for 54 points in their last game, an 88-79 triumph over the Marquette Golden Eagles in Milwaukee. They were also the top two Pirate scorers in their previous win against the St. John’s Red Storm. Another strong outing on Wednesday from these two will be key to upholding the streak.
However, Seton Hall will be taking on a formidable opponent in Villanova. Nova has claimed five of the last six Big East regular season titles. If the Pirates end the year 0-2 while the Wildcats finish 2-0, they would earn a share of another one.
Villanova had been cruising on a five-game winning streak until they fell flat in a 58-54 loss to the Providence Friars on Saturday. The Wildcats scored their fewest points in Big East play this season, saddled by an 18-point first half. They attempted to make a comeback in the second half — even getting the deficit down to two points with 1:56 remaining — but ultimately came up short.
Therefore, the key for Villanova to get back on track Wednesday is to come out of the gate with full effort. If they don’t, overcoming a large deficit against a ranked team pushing to secure a conference title on Senior Night will be a lot tougher than it was on Saturday in Providence.