It’s always a fun time when the Villanova Wildcats and Xavier Musketeers get together. They provided some of the best regular season matchups of the ‘new Big East’ in the late 2010s. Now, as 2020 has emerged, the ‘Cats and Muskies are set for a late season tilt that could provide some fun as well.
Villanova has been gaining a hell of a lot of steam lately. They have since rebounded from their rare three-game losing streak earlier this month. After losing games to the Creighton Bluejays, Butler Bulldogs and Seton Hall Pirates, ‘Nova has ran off wins over the Marquette Golden Eagles, Temple Owls and DePaul Blue Demons. The win over DePaul earlier this week as a 20-point blowout, which followed up a 20-point blowout over the Owls. The common denominator in that game was 3-point shooting. ‘Nova has made 35 of their last 62 attempts from beyond the arc. That is, to say the least, a damn good ratio.
They face a Xavier team on Saturday who has also been gathering momentum. The Musketeers have won four of their last five games, and five of their last eight dating back to January 22. They’ve knocked off Seton Hall, DePaul, the St. John’s Red Storm, Providence Friars and Georgetown Hoyas over this late-season run. They’ve won with defense, allowing over 70 points just once in this run and, hey, they won that game this past Monday against St. John’s, 77-74.
What we will have here is one very good offense in Villanova against one very good defense in Xavier. The Xavier offense has struggled at times and considering that ‘Nova’s defense has been sharp enough, it’s probably fair to say that the ‘Nova O vs. the Xavier D is the biggest matchup here. How will the nation’s 30th-best 3-point shooting team fare against the nation’s 22nd-best perimeter defense? How will the team ranked 9th in AdjOE fare against the one ranked 20th in AdjDE?
Time will soon tell. But, if their last meetings are any indication, you may not want to miss out on this one.
HOW TO WATCH
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Watch Online: Fox Sports Go
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