Home > Uncategorized > A Look at Villanova-Marquette: Four Questions

A Look at Villanova-Marquette: Four Questions

Marquette Villanova Basketball

After two intense games and a year long battle for the double-bye in the Big East Tournament, it seems fitting that Villanova and Marquette will meet one final time.  It’s been awhile since Villanova had a game to play, so let’s take a look at what is important to look at in tomorrow’s game.

1)  Will there be any rust from Villanova’s week off?  Twice this season Villanova has had a layoff of six days or longer.  The first time they beat Temple 62-45.  The second they beat Rutgers 82-72.  When we look closer we see that they shot 40 percent against Temple and 44.3 percent against Rutgers.  The first thing you worry about with a layoff is the shooting, so the numbers are encouraging.  However, when a team relies heavily on outside shooting like Villanova does, there is always some concern.  It will really be hard to predict, as we saw in the two afternoon games.  Providence and Marquette are both good shooting teams, and one came out flat while the other came out strong.

2)  Does the win against St. John’s mean Marquette is back?  It would be a stretch to say a win against one of the worst four teams in the Big East means a team is back, but make no mistakes, this is exactly what Marquette needed.  They were about as low as you could get after losing four straight, and even a win against St. John’s adds some much needed confidence.  Still, there is nothing from the win to suggest that Marquette can beat a team of Villanova’s caliber.  All four of their losses during the losing streak came against likely tournament teams like Villanova.

3)  If Marquette wins, why will it happen?  Plain and simple, the reason will be Jerel McNeal.  With Dominic James gone, only McNeal, Wesley Matthews and Lazar Hayward are offensive threats for the Golden Eagles.  Of those three, only McNeal is capable of taking over a game.  In Marquette’s first game against Villanova he scored 24 points, and in their second game he had 23 points.  With James gone, it means that McNeal will have to do even more.  If Marquette is going to pull off the upset, he will need to score close to 30 points.

4)  If Villanova wins, why will it happen?  For the Wildcats to advance to the semifinals, they will need strong play from their bench.  Going into the contest, it is the one area Villanova has a distinct advantage.  When James went down with an injury, Marquette was left with perhaps the thinnest bench in the conference.  There is no one on Marquette that has close to the scoring ability of either Corey Fisher or Corey Stokes.  Also, whenever either of those players have played well this season, Villanova tends to win more often than not.

-David Cassilo

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