College Basketball Pick: Villanova vs Georgetown
NCAA Basketball Spread: Off
A matchup between Villanova and Georgetown is generally a meeting of two of the best teams in the Big East, but Villanova hasn’t held up their end this year. Georgetown lost a ton of talent off last year’s squad, but the Hoyas are 20-6 and in fourth place in the highly competitive Big East. Villanova has won just once on the road all year. Can they go to Georgetown and knock off the Hoyas or will the home team roll to a victory?
Jay Wright’s Villanova Wildcats come into this one with a 11-16 record on the season. Villanova didn’t have nearly as much talent this year, and their issues have been magnified because of some key injuries of late. Maalik Wayns is the Wildcats best player and leader on the floor, but he injured himself on February 7 and hasn’t played since. He is listed as questionable for this one. Villanova still likes to run, but they are a terribly inefficient team on the offensive end. The Wildcats shoot 31.2% from beyond the arc, and they only shoot 41.3% from the floor overall.
Villanova is a much better team when Mouphtaou Yarou is being aggressive in the paint. Yarou averages 10.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, but he has been very inconsistent. Defensively, Villanova allows 72 points per game. In the past two months, the Wildcats have allowed less than 70 points only once.
Georgetown gets some terrific senior leadership from Jason Clark. Clark is a guy who can drive to the basket or shoot it from deep. He leads the team at 14.5 points per game. Clark also averages 1.8 steals per game. Hollis Thompson has been a sharp shooter for the Hoyas this season. Thompson is nailing 48% of his three-point attempts. There were some question marks about the Hoyas down low this year, but the emergence of Henry Sims has been great for this squad. Sims averages 11.3 points per game this year after averaging only 3.6 points per game last season. Interestingly, despite the fact that he is a 6’10 center Sims leads the Hoyas in assists with 92! It’s very beneficial to have such a great passer in the post.
John Thompson III preaches solid defense, and this Hoyas team has definitely bought into his message. Opponents shoot a miserable 28.6% from beyond the arc and 39% from the floor overall. The Hoyas have six players who average at least four rebounds per game, and they do a nice job controlling the defensive boards.
Villanova will be in a lot of trouble if they are without Wayns again in this one. Even if he does play, Georgetown’s defense should be enough to make this a comfortable win for the Hoyas.
Prediction: Georgetown 73 Villanova 58