|-4 VILL (-110) @ williamhill|
My 10* "Best of the Best" Revenge Rout is on Villanova at 8:30 ET.
Creighton, Villanova and Seton Hall finished in a three-way tie for first place in the Big East last season. As the 2020-21 Big East regular season comes to a close this week, Seton Hall is far back at 10-7, with No. 10 Villanova at 10-3 and No. 14 Creighton at 13-5. Here's the rub. With teams playing an uneven amount of games, the Bluejays would capture the Big East regular season title over the Wildcats with a win here (have already beaten Villanova 86-70 back in Creighton on Feb 13) and a home win over Butler on Saturday. Both schools are coming off losses with Creighton losing 77-69 at Xavier on Saturday and Villanova losing 73-61 at Butler on Sunday.
Creighton was ranked No. 11 in the AP's preseason poll (the highest in school history). Greg McDermott is now in his 11th season at Creighton and after tying for the Big East title last season and finishing 24-7, Creighton was picked to finish second behind Villanova in a preseason poll. Well here the Blue Jays are! Creighton owns an excellent guard trio in PG Zegarowski (14.9-3.9-4.6) plus Mahoney (13.9 & 4.5) and Ballock (10.5). 6-5 SF Jefferson (12.3 & 5.4) and the 6-7 Bishop (11.5 & 5.9) get help up front from 7-0 freshman Ryan Kalkbrenner (6.7 & 3.9).
Villanova's Jay Wright lost Saddiq Bey (16.1 & 4.7) to the NBA (was a first-round NBA draft pick) but four double digit scorers from last year's team returned. Villanova's preseason ranking of No. 3 was its highest since the 1995-96 season. Villanova is considered one of the most dangerous teams in the country for many reasons but offensive balance is at the top of the list. All FIVE starters average in double digits. The 6-9 Robinson-Earl (15.5 & 7.9) leads in scoring and rebounding and is joined up front by the 6-7 Samuels (11.1 & 6.3). That duo is joined in the starting lineup by a trio of double-digit scoring guards, PG Gillespie (14.4 & 4.7 APG), Moore (12.8 & 4.4) and Daniels (10.6). The 6-9 Swider comes off the bench to add 6.2 & 3.3.
'Nova can clinch the Big East regular season crown with a win here AND maybe a No. 2 seed in the "Big Dance," so motivation is hardly an issue. Obviously, Villanova will remember its 16-point loss at Creighton plus the Wildcats can't possibly forget Sunday's HUGELY disappointing loss Sunday at Butler. Villanova shot 2 of 27 on three-pointers, with 14 straight misses to end the game! This is a "big time" game and in the end, it's Villanova which will make the deciding plays.