-Beast the glass. No matter who is on the floor for X, they have to win on the boards. Villanova will attempt and likely make a lot of threes, sometimes on two or three consecutive possessions. Keeping those from being 9-0 runs will be vital for Xavier, especially on the road, and second-chance points will be a huge key in that department.
-Keep Ed moving. For all the Nova back court is, it's not particularly athletic. Sumner, you may have noticed, is. Arcidiacono, Brunson, and Booth will have their work cut out to stay in front of Ed. If Xavier can get him in positions to catch with his defender chasing him off a screen instead of squared up in front of him, he'll have a much better chance of beating the first man off the bounce and getting into the middle. When that happens, Xavier's offense will be set up to break down a tough Villanova defense.
-Avoid the early hole. Xavier fans will recall getting trounced by Villanova by a total of 72 points; only one of those games has had a single-digit margin of victory. This is the kind of team that can get you behind early and never let you back into the game. The runs are going to come; Xavier needs to stay poised when that happens rather than rush to make up the gap and only compound things. This is the first of two monster games in 48 hours for X, but it feels like a chance to make a real statement of intent in league play.