How to Watch
Time and Date: February 8, 2022, at 8:30 PM ET
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York NY
TV: Fox Sports 1
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
Records: Villanova (17-6, 10-3) || St. John’s (13-9, 5-6)
Rankings: Villanova (#15 AP Poll, #10 KenPom) || St. John’s (N/A AP Poll, #84 KenPom)
Spread: Villanova: -4.5 (-111) || St. John’s: +4.5 (-109)
At the moment St. John’s is on a roll. The Red Storm have scored two wins against Georgetown and Butler in their last two outings, as the Johnnies are in the midst of their first winning streak since early December. It appears that they have slowly turned things around over the last stretch of games, going 3-2 over a five-game stretch. They appear to be making moves to get back into the midtable mixer in the Big East standings.
Things though will be getting much more difficult this week. The Villanova Wildcats are making the trip to Madison Square Garden to complete the second leg of their home and home regular-season series. If the Johnnies have truly turned things around, then this game first true test among their eight remaining games. It does not get easier as UConn is after this game on the weekend.
Villanova comes into this game on the heels of an 85-74 win over UConn. Eric Dixon carried the load with 24 points though the Wildcats did suffer a big loss. Collin Gillespie suffered a severe ankle sprain against the Huskies and did not come back after being taken out. At the moment, Gillespie is listed as a game-time decision for this game against St. John’s. He is not the only Wildcat listed as a game-time decision though. Justin Moore, who sustained an ankle injury in the second half against Marquette, is currently being reevaluated for Tuesday night’s game. ‘Nova has been in the situation before with Gillespie going down, and generally have enough depth to cover for a loss on the roster. Though the double trouble of not having both Gillespie and Moore is a pretty big dent in their scoring output. Gillespie is averaging 17.2 points per game while Moore is averaging 15.1, which ranks first and second place on the team.
They will also have to contend with a St. John’s team that is rounding into form late in the season. Over the weekend the Johnnies managed to come back against Butler. Julian Champagnie once again had a great game and the adjustment of playing off-screen continues to pay dividends.
Perhaps the biggest change has been that there is now a much more well-rounded approach. Mike Anderson’s use of the roster is now paying off with contributions coming from more than just one or two players on the roster. The one thing left to do now is for them to close out games with consistency. They have had flashes, but now comes the tricky part of doing it over this final eight-game stretch.
The Big East will probably have a lot of twists and turns left for these teams and starting on Tuesday night we could see some bends begin to develop.