Marquette visits the Villanova Wildcats on Monday night, the Golden Eagles' second appearance on the Big East's weekly ESPN showcase. The Golden Eagles (20-6, 10-5), winners of four straight, will have to notch another conference road win to keep pace with the upper echelon of the Big East in hopes of sneaking in for a first round bye in the Big East tournament.
Tipoff is scheduled for 6pm CST on ESPN.
Like Marquette, Villanova (17-9, 7-7) is one of the hottest teams in the Big East as the winners of three in a row and four of their last five. On Saturday, the Wildcats upset UConn 67-65 behind 18 points from Scottie Reynolds and Corey Stokes. Villanova is paced by Reynolds, the 2006-2007 Big East freshman of the year, at better than 16 points per game. Freshman Corey Fisher and senior Dante Cunningham each clock in with 10 points per game.
Here are the Top Five Numbers to Know about Villanova. As always, information comes from Pomeroy's Scouting Report and Game Plan.
- 72% - Pomeroy forecasts a 72% chance of Marquette victory
- Be very cautious about this one... and just remember that we were predicted as favorites to beat UConn and Louisville (both times)
- 63 - Villanova's ranking for Defensive Efficiency according to Pomeroy
- Contrast that with Marquette's rank of 9
- 89.7 - Villanova's Defensive Efficiency averaged over the last five games
- This means that opponents are scoring less than 0.90 points / possession
- The defense has really picked up for the Cats in their recent surge
- Skeptical? It also includes wins against WVU, UConn, and the near-win against Georgetown (who was held to 0.87 points / possession)
- 19.4% - The Turnover Rate for Villanova's offense
- This TO Rate is slightly better than average, and if Marquette is able to force them above 20% turnover rate, then we should be okay
- 330 - Villanova's national rank at Free Throw Rate defense
- And we thought Marquette (rank of 266) did a poor job of this
- Let's all hope that the refs let the team play a little bit, or we're all in for a long night