How to Watch
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Streaming: FOX Sports Go
Spread: Villanova -10.5
The Villanova Wildcats (12-2, 7-1) are set to host the Marquette Golden Eagles (9-10, 5-8) this Wednesday night at 9:00pm at the Finneran Pavilion. This will be the second of two meetings between Villanova and Marquette, with Villanova prevailing victorious in the first matchup in December.
The Golden Eagles will be coming into the Finneran Pavilion looking to start their five game road trip on the right foot, when they face a very vulnerable Villanova team this Wednesday. Marquette has not played five consecutive road games since the 1980-1981 season, where they went 3-2 in that stretch. History has not been kind to the Golden Eagles, especially against Villanova. All time, they are 12-26 overall against the Wildcats, who seem to have cursed them as of recently. Since their matchup on February 27th, 2019, Marquette is 14-23 in league play, losing games at a rate of 63% during that stretch. However, if they ever wanted to reverse the curse, this would a golden opportunity on Wednesday night. Villanova was recently dominated by Saint John’s, and then proceeded to come out flat against Georgetown last Sunday afternoon. While the Golden Eagles may not be winning games right now, one thing they are doing is playing hard, as evidenced by their last three games all being decided by three points or less. If they follow the blueprint that Saint John’s laid out for them, by playing aggressive defense, methodical offense and disciplined basketball, they have a real chance of upsetting Villanova on Wednesday night.
As for the Wildcats, if their first meeting with Marquette was any indication of their next, then their biggest obstacle may be themselves. The thorn in the side of the Wildcats recently has been sloppy, undisciplined basketball. Turnovers, early foul trouble and missed opportunities on both ends have proven costly of late and will continue if not addressed by Jay Wright and his staff. On the bright side for Villanova, they have a team of unselfish players, who on any given night, could take over the game and propel the team to victory, as evidenced by Sunday’s 32 point scoring barrage from Jermaine Samuels. This game Wednesday night will be a real opportunity for Villanova to get back on track and pick up some real momentum going into the final stages of the regular season.
This game Wednesday night will be a test for both teams. For Marquette to come out victorious they will need to play relentless, uptempo basketball. If they can force Villanova to turn the ball over early and often and capitalize on their mistakes, their chances of winning will greatly increase. As for Villanova, they are the more talented team, plain and simple. If they can get back to playing their brand of basketball and control the game like they did the last time these two teams met, then I think it will be a real confidence boost at the right time of the year. Traditionally in the Big East the referees tend to let the teams play a little more physical than they do in other conferences across the country. I expect this game to be no different and a classic Big East battle.
My Prediction: 75-70 Villanova