The No. 8 Villanova Wildcats go for a second straight win when they host the St. John’s Red Storm on Tuesday night. The Wildcats are coming off a 68-60 victory over Connecticut on Saturday.
Villanova (14-3) is now 9-2 in Big East play, which gives it a better winning percentage than Creighton, which has more wins at 12-4. The Wildcats lost to the Bluejays prior to the win over Connecticut and will host the Creighton on March 3.
The only other loss in conference for the Wildcats came against the Red Storm (14-9), which lost to last-place DePaul in its last contest, 88-83. St. John’s is 8-8 in conference play and sixth in the conference standings.
Red Storm vs Wildcats Betting: Looking For A Repeat Performance
The Red Storm’s NCAA March Madness hopes are likely hanging on by a thread, but having two wins over Villanova would certainly boost the team’s resume. St. John’s could use it after its loss to DePaul over the weekend.
Coach Mike Anderson’s squad boasts the top offense in the Big East, averaging 78.3 points per game, though Villanova is just behind at 77.3 points. That offense is powered by sophomore forward Julian Champagnie, whose scoring average of 19.8 points per game leads the Big East.
Champagnie is also leading the Red Storm in rebounding with 7.3 per game. He’s one of only two double-figure scorers for St. John’s.
The other is freshman guard Posh Alexander, who is averaging 11.7 points along with 4.5 assists. He’s also making an impact on the defensive end, leading the Big East and ranking eighth in the nation with 2.6 steals per game.
There are other dangerous players for the Red Storm as well, though, including junior guard Greg Williams Jr., who is averaging 9.6 points and leads the Big East in 3-point field-goal percentage (.458). Senior guard Rasheem Dunn has scored in double figures in six of the last nine games, while junior swingman Marcellus Earlington has averaged 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in the Red Storm’s last two wins.
During its national title runs and throughout coach Jay Wright’s time leading the program, Villanova has made college basketball news by being known for hard-nosed defense. Unfortunately, with all of the restrictions and postponements caused by COVID-19, that’s been hard to come by this year for the Wildcats, who rank near the bottom of the conference in both field-goal percentage defense (.475) and 3-point field-goal percentage defense (.366).
The hope is that the win over Connecticut showed that the Wildcats are getting back to that, as they held the Huskies to 60 points, 36.7% shooting from the floor and 7-of-27 shooting from beyond the arc.
The Wildcats don’t have trouble with offense, though, with all five starters averaging in double figures, led by Jeremiah Robinson-Earl at 15.6 points per game. The sophomore forward is shooting 50.2% from the field and also leads the team with 7.5 rebounds per game.
Senior guard Collin Gillespie is putting up 14.5 points per game, hitting a team-high 37 3-pointers and dishing out a team-best 4.9 assists per contest. Sophomore guard Justin Moore (13.2 points), senior forward Jermaine Samuels (11.4) and junior guard Caleb Daniels (10.2) round out the starting five for the Wildcats.
Wildcats Get Revenge
Villanova knows it needs to put together some wins to have a chance at a potential No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and it starts against St. John’s. The Wildcats will be focused for this one after the earlier loss to the Red Storm.
St. John’s does have Champagnie, but he’ll need help from his teammates since the Wildcats will undoubtedly be geared towards stopping him from getting going. Villanova’s defense will be the difference in this one.
Red Storm vs Wildcats Betting Pick
When doing your college basketball betting, give the 11 points and go with the Wildcats.