Xavier Musketeers (13-2):
Villanova Wildcats (15-1):
TV Listings and Info:
Keys to the Game:
- Run: Villanova is not deep at all. They have seven rotation players and they play very slowly to protect them. St. John's just found out what happens when you try to speed up the Musketeers. Xavier goes deep (now) and they have the horses to go very fast. Making Nova run with them could be a way to win.
- Pound: Xavier also has a size advantage on Villanova. The Wildcats have Darryl Reynolds at 6-9, but no one else really any taller than Trevon Bluiett. Rashid Gaston, Sean O'Mara, and Tyrique Jones are all going to have some height to work with. Look for the Musketeers to feed especially O'Mara early to see if he can get his back to the basket game going.
- Weather the storm: In looking at the games that these teams have played since X joined the Big East it was readily apparent how often the Musketeers got buried and couldn't come back. There is going to be a stretch in this game where Edmond Sumner turns the ball over and Nova bangs in a couple of threes. Xavier can't let themselves start to slip, or this will be a rout before you can blink.