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PREVIEW: Creighton at #19 Villanova

The Bluejays will look for the season sweep against the Wildcats

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Creighton Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch:

Date: Wednesday, January 5th, 2021

Time: 8:30pm EST

Venue: The Finneran Pavillion - Villanova, PA

TV: FS1 (Kevin Kugler, Bill Raftery)

Streaming: Fox Sports Go

Betting Odds

Spread: CREI: +11 (-110) | NOVA: -11 (-110)

Total: 132

via: Action Network

The Creighton Bluejays (10-3, 2-0) will look to complete the season sweep of the Villanova Wildcats (9-4, 2-1) and keep sole possession of first place in the Big East.

The last time these two teams met was in December, in a back and forth matchup that went south at the end for the Wildcats. Creighton ended up securing a 20-point home victory in what would be a signature win for the Bluejays.

Creighton will look to continue its red-hot start to the season and add yet another key win to their resume. After being picked to finish eighth in the Big East Preseason rankings, the Bluejays have seemingly been on a mission to prove people wrong in the early parts of the season. Led by a trio of ‘Ryan’s’ in Kalkbrenner, Nembhard, and Hawkins, the Bluejays have perfected an inside-out scoring attack that can be extremely lethal against smaller teams like Villanova. As evidenced by their last meeting, Creighton certainly has the firepower to hang around with a team like Villanova, and they do not fear anyone. Those truths combined make for a scary matchup for anyone facing this young Creighton team.

As for Villanova, they will look to continue their hot play coming into the first matchup of 2022. After a rough couple of games against some formidable opponents, Villanova has seemingly found the recipe to success again and things seem to be clicking on the Main Line. Last week Villanova took down not one but two ranked conference opponents in Xavier and Seton Hall. Big East teams (not named Butler) usually do not have a good time when they come to visit the Pavilion, so the home-court advantage is going to be crucial for the shorthanded Wildcats tonight. Caleb Daniels, a key bench contributor will miss his second consecutive game with his second bout of covid. Without Daniels, Collin Gillespie and the Wildcats will need to rely heavily on bench contributions from Bryan Antoine and Jordan Longino in this home contest with a very dangerous Creighton team.

This matchup will be a treat to watch for any fans of the Big East. With a win, Villanova would jump into a tie with Creighton for a share of first place in the Big East, albeit in January. Creighton has an excellent team and they are way ahead of schedule when it comes to ‘reloading’ their roster with talent. To be competing for a Big East championship after being ranked eighth in the preseason polls is already impressive, anything they do on top of that is very encouraging for the future as well. On the other hand, I do not forsee Villanova dropping this contest at home. Not on my birthday. In their first matchup, it was a tightly contested game until the latter portion of the second half. Villanova shot the ball dreadfully and Creighton connected when they had to. They say lightning never strikes twice. They are usually right. I am taking Villanova in a closer one at home.

My Prediction: 72-59, Villanova