As the Villanova Wildcats prepare to take on the Delaware Blue Hens in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament, we reached out to our friend Nick Lorensen at Mid-Major Madness to see what the Wildcats should expect from the Blue Hens.
How to Watch Villanova vs. Delaware in the NCAA Tournament
Day: Friday, March 18
Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
Stream: March Madness Live
(via DraftKings Sportsbook)
Spread: Villanova -15.5 | Delaware +15.5
Moneyline: Villanova -1750 | Delaware +950
Nick is a must-follow on Twitter, especially this time of year, so click on his name above and give him a follow!
Big East Coast Bias: The Blue Hens are led by Jameer Nelson Jr (yes, the son of former Saint Joseph’s legend Jameer Nelson) who is undeniably the real deal. For those who may have heard the name, but have not gotten to see him play yet, what makes him so special?
Nick Lorenson: Nelson is the heiress of the Saint Joe’s legend and has shown that he can ball just like his father. In the past nine games, he has scored double-digit points including 30 against James Madison. Something that is overlooked in his game is just how much he swarms the ball and forces turnovers. Nelson is an effective shooter who is almost always on the floor.
BECB: Both of these teams are super talented on both sides of the ball. Who is the ‘x-factor’ on Delaware that Villanova fans should be aware of heading into this meeting on Friday?
NL: Over the last month and a half, Freshman Jyare Davis has taken a leadership role on this team. Davis made his first three starts of his college career in the conference tournament, scoring double digits in all three games while picking up a double-double against Drexel in the quarterfinals. He would end up winning Most Outstanding Player of the CAA Tournament to add to his Freshman of the Year accolades. Because of his limited play early, his numbers don’t pop out to you on the stat sheet, averaging 9.5 points per game.
BECB: There are a lot of local connections in this game, whether it be Delaware head coach Martin Inglesby growing up a Villanova fan, or even Villanova transfer (and birthday boy) Dylan Painter facing his former team in the big dance. What is your favorite storyline heading into this one and why?
NL: My favorite storyline heading into this one is Dylan Painter playing against his old school. I remember when he transferred over, it was a big deal for the Blue Hens. Some smaller storylines… It’s going to be a battle between Joe & Jill Biden’s alma mater and after the CAA semifinals last Monday, I texted my buddy who is the UD student radio announcer, Daniel Steenkamer, and told him that these two teams would face off in Pittsburgh for the NCAA Tournament. I may have said that it would be a 3/14 matchup, but it was close enough.
BECB: What, if anything, could be the metaphorical Achilles heel for the Blue Hens in this game?
NL: Their inexperience in big games. Villanova is everyone’s big game, so those Wildcats are battle-tested. Delaware hasn’t been to the big dance under Ingelsby.
BECB: Thank you for your time and congratulations to the Delaware Blue Hens for earning a trip to their first NCAA Tournament since 2014. I just have one final question for you; who wins, by how much?
NL: I’ll give the victory to Villanova by a score of 70-52.