Villanova is finishing up its worst season in more than a decade, and it’ll end in New York if the Wildcats don’t win four straight and take the Big East title. Luckily, their run starts with a matchup against an abysmal Georgetown team. Villanova is a 11.5-point favorite with the over/under 142.5 points in this Big East Tournament matchup.
Let’s make predictions for Wednesday’s game and break down why this should be a victory for the Wildcats.
Georgetown vs. Villanova Prediction
Villanova was brought back to Earth by UConn last weekend, but I’m still a believer in the direction of this Wildcats team. The offense has started to come together with Justin Moore and Cam Whitmore fully up to speed, giving Kyle Neptune legitimate scoring options he didn’t have early on. Villanova has enough in the tank offensively to roll right past a bad Georgetown defense.
While the Hoyas can score better than you might expect for a team with two conference wins, Villanova has been steady defensively over the last month. Whether Villanova can cover -11.5 may come down to the efficiency of its shooters, and I’m leaning toward a big bounce-back day for the offense in this spot.
Georgetown vs. Villanova Prediction: Villanova -11.5
Georgetown vs. Villanova Odds
Villanova enters as an 11.5-point favorite, with the over/under at 142.5 points. The Wildcats are -820 on the moneyline.
Villanova has gotten healthier and played much better down the stretch. Even if the season was going the way it was in December and January, you’d have to think the Wildcats would still be solid favorites over this Georgetown squad.
Georgetown vs. Villanova Key Matchups
Here are some key matchups that could decide Georgetown vs. Villanova.
Villanova Shooting vs. Georgetown Three-Point Defense
Georgetown does a lot of things wrong, but allowing opponents to shoot 38.8% from three-point range is among the biggest issues. In modern day college basketball, no team has a chance with that kind of season average – that’s why it’s a huge factor in my Georgetown vs. Villanova prediction.
It’s also why the Hoyas rank 350th with more than 78 points allowed per game. It’ll be interesting to see how much Villanova can expose that weakness.
The Wildcats haven’t had a very impressive offense this season, attempting plenty of threes but shooting just 33.6% from beyond the arc. They shot just 9-of-27 from three the first time they faced Georgetown before rebounding with a 9-of-18 mark two weeks later.
This is a much-improved Villanova offense, though. Cam Whitmore has settled in, Justin Moore has returned, and Eric Dixon has started to blossom as an offensive option.
Villanova still isn’t good enough to roll past the best teams in the Big East, as we saw when they struggled from long range against UConn in the regular season finale, but Georgetown has the type of three-point defense this Wildcats team can walk right over.
Free Throw Battle
Georgetown won two Big East games, which was a nice improvement from the zero conference wins they had last season. There was a common thread in both wins: The Hoyas got to the free throw line often. In fact, Georgetown attempted an incredible 41 free throws in its win over DePaul and won the free throw battle 22-6 against Butler in a February victory.
Yes, it’s a down year for Villanova, but Georgetown simply isn’t good enough to hang with the Wildcats on an average day. A lack of dangerous shooters (and a lack of three-point attempts) makes it unlikely one player’s career game will lead Georgetown to a win. It’s going to take extra opportunities, and those opportunities will probably have to come from the line.
Both Georgetown and Villanova send opponents to the line for about 15 free throws per game. The minimum for the Hoyas looks like it will have to be 20-25, so it’ll be key for Georgetown’s biggest offensive pieces to drive to the basket and draw contact.