Super Bowl Sunday Basketball at the Wells Fargo Center | Villanova vs. Seton Hall Preview
Written by David Szczepanski on February 11, 2024
It’s Super Bowl Sunday: Yes, there will be a lot of parties and football today, but for Villanova, it is all business and basketball with a Big East foe coming to town. Villanova travels back to South Philadelphia looking for their second straight win at the Wells Fargo Center. The Wildcats welcome the Seton Hall Pirates, who are currently 15-8 overall and 8-4 in conference play. After beginning the Big East schedule with major success, the Pirates are just 2-3 in their last five games. However, Villanova also has only two wins in the last month and is desperately searching for some consistency.
All-Time Series Info
Villanova has dominated the all-time series against Seton Hall, 83-43. The Wildcats swept both games last season, and the Pirates have not defeated Villanova since February 8, 2020. This will be the first matchup between these two rivals of the season.
Seton Hall Preview
Seton Hall’s biggest wins include beating #5 UConn, #23 Providence, #7 Marquette, and St. John’s. However, most of those victories came earlier in the season. The Pirates are 4-4 in Quad 1 games, but just 1-3 in Quad 2 matchups. The Pirates have suffered some tough losses to Xavier, Iowa, #23 Southern California, and Rutgers.
The Pirates have a confusing resume with a combination of elite victories and confusing losses, but they have played much better than most people expected in November. In the Big East preseason poll, they were predicted to finish 9th in the conference. Seton Hall’s defense has been most impressive with more than seven steals per game and limiting high powered offenses like St. John’s and UConn to less than 70 points earlier in the 2023-24 campaign.
Seton Hall’s offense averages 73.7 points per matchup. In their most recent game, they narrowly pulled out a win against Georgetown, 76-70, at home. As a team, they convert 45% of their shots from the field and rebound pretty well. Their biggest weaknesses are their turnovers and three-point shooting. Seton Hall’s ball security has been poor with 13 turnovers per game. They shoot just 32% from behind the arc.
Seton Hall’s Players to Watch
G Kadary Richmond (Senior, Brooklyn, NY): 16.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 5 apg, scored 20 points against Georgetown on 2/7
G Dre Davis (Senior, Indianapolis, IN): 14.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg, scored 25 points with 10 rebounds against Georgetown
G Al-Amir Dawes (Senior, Newark, NJ): 14 ppg, averaging just nine points in his last three games/potential to bounce back from recent struggles
Luckily for Villanova, Seton Hall is not playing at the same level as they were in December, but the Pirates are still a really good basketball team that can beat almost anyone in the country. The Wildcats’ defense has been excellent in the past two games, and I expect the defense to play fairly well again on Sunday against a slightly above average offense. However, I have a lot of concern about Villanova’s offense against this Pirates’ defense. The Wildcats scored just 53 points against Xavier on Wednesday. Villanova’s offense has been extremely inconsistent all year, and the only consistency is Eric Dixon. Dixon was named to the Big East Honor Roll on Monday and averages 15.7 points per game and almost seven rebounds. Justin Moore is now averaging just 10.1 points per game with a 26% three-point success rate. Since returning from an ankle injury in early January, Moore has only scored more than eight points once. With Justin Moore struggling and Mark Armstrong in and out of the starting lineup, the offense and starting lineup has been unable to put together high scoring efforts on a consistent basis, specifically in “must-win” situations like against Seton Hall.
The Wildcats’ bench with Brendan Hausen, Hakim Hart, and Lance Ware has been a bright spot over the past few games. Hausen scored 15 points in Villanova’s tough loss to Xavier, and he was Villanova’s best player on Wednesday. Hart finished with seven points and five rebounds against the Musketeers. Ware’s defense has tremendously improved over the last couple of games and his minutes have increased.
The Wildcats have played excellent basketball at the Wells Fargo Center even in a one-point loss to #1 UConn. The energy is always high with a loud student section, and Villanova has that major advantage against Seton Hall. The Cats’ need to win on Sunday, and Nova Nation will definitely help them.
WXVU Live Coverage
WXVU will have live coverage of today’s game beginning at 11:30am with the pregame show. Tipoff is scheduled for 12pm from the Wells Fargo Center.