A rematch between two top 25 teams takes place when Xavier and Villanova face off on Wednesday. Can the Wildcats complete the season sweep?
TV schedule: Wednesday, January 12th, 6:30 pm ET. Fox Sports 1
Arena: Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio
Xavier goes into this match-up with a 12-2 record on the season. Both losses have come against ranked opponents. Their two losses are against Iowa State and Villanova. Xavier moved up to the 17th in the recent AP poll. Xavier goes into this matchup with their only quality win coming against Ohio State. Although The Musketeers have had only one quality win this year, the team has had wins against average teams such as Oklahomo State.
Offensively Xavier is led by the trio of Nate Johnson, Jack Nunge, and Colby Jones. Johnson and Nunge both average 12 points per game. Johnson makes 49 percent of his shots, while Nunge makes 54 percent of his shots. Jones has averaged 11 points per game on 50 percent shooting.
Villanova goes into this match-up with an 11-4 record on the season. The Wildcats go into this game with losses from UCLA, Baylor, Purdue, and Creighton. Out of those losses, Creighton is the only non-quality loss. Jay Wright’s squad improved to 14th in the recent AP poll. Offensively, the Wildcats are led by Collin Gillespie and Justin Moore.
On the year, Gillespie has averaged 16 points per game on 45 percent shooting. Moore has averaged 15 points per game on 41 percent shooting. Villanova’s notable wins have come against Tennessee, Seton Hall, and Xavier.
Both Big East teams go into this game with pretty good defenses. Xavier’s defense is 37th in the country when it comes to allowed points per game. Villanova’s defense is 25th in the country when it comes to allowed points per game. In the first contest between both teams, Villanova beat Xavier 71-58. The game was close until late when Xavier was not able to stop Villanova’s offense.
In the game, the Wildcats were led by Collin Gillespie offensively. Gillespie scored 15 on a very efficient 63 percent from the floor. Other players such as Justin Moore, Eric Dixon, and Caleb Daniels scored around 15 points in the victory. Behind a good defensive performance, Villanova will beat Xavier for the second time this season.
Prediction: Villanova 67, Xavier 62