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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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    05/17/2022 12:01 PM

NCAA Basketball Picks Villanova Wildcats vs Connecticut Huskies

NCAA basketball on Saturday night and we will see the Connecticut Huskies take on the Villanova Wildcats in the 3rd round of the NCAA Tournament, which is being played at First Niagara Arena in Buffalo, New York. The game has a start time of 9:40 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on TBS. Vegas odds have the Wildcats listed as 3.5 point favorites, while the total sits at 134.

Stat Pack:  The Connecticut Huskies come off a hard fought OT win over St Joe's in the 2nd round. The win now has the Huskies at 27-8 on the year. The Huskies average a decent 71.9 ppg (146th) on 44.9% shooting (140th). They rank 31st in 3 pt shooting (38.7%) and 10th in free throw shooting (76.1%). Shabazz Napier is the leader of this team as he averages 17.4 ppg, while also leading the team in assists (4.9) and rebounding (5.9). Just 5 players on the team average 6.5 ppg or more, so this is not a very deep team. DeAndre Daniels (12.5 ppg) and Ryan Boatright (11.8 ppg) are the only other DD scorers on the team. Defensively this is a very solid team that ranks 32nd in points allowed (63.1 ppg) and 10th in defensive FG% (38.7%).  

The Villanova Wildcats got to this game with a win over a game Milwaukee squad. The win now has the Cats at 29-4 on the year. The Cats are a very good offensive team as they come in ranked 30th in the nation in scoring (78.5 ppg), 85th in FG% (45.9%) and 101st in 3 point shooting (36.1%). The offense is led by James Bell, who averages 14.5 ppg on the year, while also tying for the team lead in rebounds at 6.1 rpg. Darrun Hilliard is second on the team in scoring (14.3 ppg), and he is their best long rang threat, hitting 41.5% from beyond the arc. JayVaughn Pinkston (14.2 ppg) rounds out the double digit scorers on the team. The Cats have played solid defense this year, as they have allowed just 66.7 ppg (82nd) on 40.7% shooting (50th), but they have allowed teams to hit 35.3% from beyond the arc, which is 240th in the nation.

Pick: I will look to Villanova to take this one. The Huskies really got lucky in their game vs St Joe's and never should have won that game. UConn plays solid defense, but I don't feel they have the offense to hang with the Cats, as Villanova averages 78.4 pg, while the huskies have put up just 72.3 ppg. Villanova also knows how to play defense as they have allowed just 66.2 ppg on 40.3% shooting and UConn can go into shooting slumps. The Cats have had an out standing year overall and have really just played two bad games and both were vs Creighton. I look for the Cats to move on to the Sweet 16 with a win of at least 7 point here.    


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Movie2014 NCAA Tournament Preview
Ken Thomson, Bryan Leonard and host Marco D'Angelo from give their thoughts on the upcoming NCAA Tournament.