Things haven’t been particularly great for the Villanova Wildcats. Their 8-4 start is their worst since the Big East’s reformatting in the 2013-14 season. They’ve lost back-to-back games twice this season, when they hadn’t done at all for five consecutive seasons.
That being said, the season is a long way away from being over and there’s time to turn things around. They can begin to do so again against an old friend on Saturday. Villanova is set to meet up with the UConn Huskies, a former Big East powerhouse who now of course stand in the American Athletic Conference.
UConn is 9-3 on the year with losses to the Iowa Hawkeyes, Arizona Wildcats and Florida State Seminoles. But, Dan Hurley’s first year in Storrs is going pretty well, all things considered. They’ve beaten everybody they were supposed to beat, and clipped another former Big East mainstay, the Syracuse Orange, earlier in the season. The Huskies were last 9-3 to start a season in the 2015-16 campaign, so it’s been a little while.
This is a pretty fascinating matchup, all things considered. One squad is going through rocky times after winning two National Championships in three years. The other is looking to dig out of turbulence, and appears to be on their way to doing so. What will that mean for Saturday’s matchup? It’s yet to be seen, but this is a fascinating matchup, no matter how you slice it.
UConn and ‘Nova are set to tangle at Madison Square Garden, a place both programs know quite well obviously. Villanova’s a pretty heavy favorite, with a WP% of 73 percent on KenPom, projected to win by seven points. Should we be weary of a possible upset on Saturday? The Huskies have won three of their last four games, although thir competition wasn’t super stiff in doing so. They’ve gone 1-2 on neutral floors this year, the lone win being at... you guessed it: MSG. Villanova is 3-0 on neutral courts, having raced through the AdvoCare Invitational down in Orlando during Feast Week.
Expect a tightly contested game here. Both fanbases probably will show out for this game and create a tense environment at The World’s Most Famous Arena. Hey, that sounds familiar, right?
HOW TO WATCH
Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
TV: CBS (Check local listings)
Watch Online: CBSSports.com