NCAA Basketball Picks: Providence vs. Villanova

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, March 13, 2015 1:46 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 13, 2015 1:46 PM UTC

Let’s take a look inside the numbers & NCAA Basketball odds for this important matchup on Friday, between the Providence Friars vs. Villanova Wildcats. 


BIG EAST CCT Providence vs. Villanova (-9) 7:00 ET FS1: Madison Square Garden, New York
No. 4 seeded Providence meets top seeded Villanova in this semi-final clash of the Big East CCT in fabled Madison Square Garden.  Note that Providence is the defending champion of this event, as they defeated Creighton last year (65-58) as 7 point underdog for the title.  This year’s task will be far greater, as they face projected No. 1 seed Villanova in this semi-final matchup.  Let’s take a look inside the NCAA basketball odds & numbers to find out why Providence will fair no better than the last time these two teams met, which resulted in an 89-61 Villanova victory on February 24th at the Pavilion home of the Wildcats.

Providence is coached by savvy veteran mentor, Ed Cooley.  In the previous 3 years as head man of the Friars, Cooley has improved the Providence win total from 15 to 19 to 23.  This year, Providence stands 22-10 SU, following their 74-57 upset (as +2) of St. Johns, the host team in this tournament.  Leading the way in that mini-upset was LaDontae Henton, who scored 20 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.  He was ably abetted by Kris Dunn, who dropped in 17 points and dished out 11 assists. This inside/outside tandem has led the Friars all season long.  But, it will take a Herculean performance today to get this victory.  To succeed, the Friars will need to do far better than their season-long average than from behind the arc, in which they knock down less than 5 triples per game at a rate of only 30%.  That may not be likely against the Villanova defense that allows just 31% from the field.  For, the Villanova offense has been nearly unstoppable.

The Wildcats enter on a 13-game winning streak with a record of 30-2 SU.  Since a loss at Georgetown on January 19th, the 13 Villanova victories have resulted in a pointspread mark of 12-1 ATS.  In that timeframe, only 3 of those 13 wins have come by fewer than 10 points.  In fact, for the season, Villanova is outscoring the opposition by an average of 77-61 PPG.  It is that explosive offense which will again key this victory tonight.  They are led by PG Ryan Arcidiacono, a clever veteran point guard, who is adept at not only getting his own points but finding the accurate 3 point shooters for the Wildcats. This group is led by Darren Hilliard, who averages under just 20 PPG.  Last night, in their 84-49 romp of Marquette, the Wildcats knocked down 17 of 29 triples.  In fact, the Wildcats have averaged 45% from behind the arc in the last 11 games.  That is an effective scoring rate of over 67%, if converting 2 point shots.  In the 2 wins over Providence this season, Villanova knocked down 20/45 triples.

When deciding on your NCAA Basketball Picks, keep in mind that Providence is a solid team with great coaching, good defense and a nice 1-2 punch in Henton and Dunn.  But, they are no match for a Villanova team who is on a roll.  To quantify our success rate in this, consider that top seeded CCT teams with a winning percentage of 800 or higher are a better than 75% ATS play, if they are playing following consecutive double digit victories against a double-avenging foe whose previous loss to our team (89-61) was by double digits.  Best scenario is another Villanova blowout tonight!

NCAA Basketball Picks: Take Villanova -8 at BookMaker

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