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St. John’s to Host Villanova on Wednesday

Red Storm will host Wildcats on campus for the first time since 1994

NCAA Basketball: Utah Valley at St. John Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch

Time: 9:00pm EST

TV: CBS Sports Network

Radio: TuneIn Radio & SiriusXM

Betting Odds

Spread: Nova -8.5

Total: 153


Game Preview

The St. John’s Red Storm (11-7, 5-6) are set to host the Villanova Wildcats (11-1, 6-0) at Carnesecca Arena in Jamaica, New York Wednesday at 9:00pm. This meeting between the Red Storm and the Wildcats will mark as their first meeting in Jamaica since January 8th, 1994. In a normal year, the Johnnies would host the Wildcats at the site of the annual Big East Tournament, Madison Square Garden. But as we know all too well, this year is anything but normal.

The Red Storm are red-hot right now, picking up three wins in a row against conference opponents, including an impressive 74-70 victory on the road against the University of Connecticut. Now they will turn their attention to the Villanova Wildcats, in a home matchup that will be a real test for Mike Anderson’s Red Storm. The Johnnies are no stranger to knocking off ranked opponents however, especially at this time of year. Who could forget the iconic run in 2018 when St. John’s defeated two top five teams (including Villanova) just three days apart?

Certainly not St. John’s, they even made t-shirts to prove it! But in all seriousness, this team they have now may be better than the one they fielded in 2018, and if Villanova does not play a disciplined game, they will be in trouble. The Johnnies are led by Sophomore standout and scoring machine Julian Champagnie, averaging 19.8 points per game at an efficient 43% from beyond the arc. Posh Alexander will be another name to keep an eye on if you are a Villanova fan. The three time BIG EAST Freshman of the Week is unbelievably talented on the defensive end of the floor, averaging 2.7 steals per game. A mark that puts him seventh in all of college basketball in that category. The keys to the game for St. John’s will be limiting mistakes, if they can control the tempo and limit their turnovers then they will have a real shot at continuing their conference win streak to four games, a mark they have not hit since the 2014-15 tournament season.

For Villanova, everything seems to be going back to normal now, two weeks removed from their resumption of basketball activities. The Wildcats will be coming into Wednesday nights game with impressive wins recently over Providence and Seton Hall (twice). Villanova is also the highest ranked opponent to come to Jamaica in over 40 years. Even though they are sitting at No. 3 in both polls, we may not have seen the best of the Wildcats yet. This team is just like any other Jay Wright coached team, disciplined, humble and hungry. Led by a pair of seniors in Colin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels, the Wildcats are very reminiscent of the 2016 National Championship team in their play styles. Brandon Slater and Justin Moore also seem to be coming into their roles as the teams defensive and offensive specialists, respectively. Villanova is top two in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio and if they can play their brand of basketball Wednesday night, it may make for an early evening for the starters.

My Prediction: 79-65 Villanova