Villanova vs. UConn Preview + Brief Providence Recap
Written by David Szczepanski on March 4, 2023
Brief Seton Hall Recap
On Tuesday night, Villanova defeated Seton Hall, 76-72, to complete the season sweep of the Pirates. The Wildcats were outscored, 37-34, in the first half; however, the offense exploded for 42 points in the second half to earn Nova their tenth Big East win. Justin Moore was excellent, once again, for the Wildcats by scoring 23 points including 9-9 from the free throw line. Eric Dixon shot 4-7 from the field and 9-10 from the charity stripe for 18 points and 8 rebounds. Cam Whitmore knocked down three three-pointers and accumulated 19 points.
In the final regular season matchup of the season, Villanova battles #14 UConn at the Wells Fargo Center tonight with tip-off scheduled for 7:30pm. The Wildcats have won three straight games, including two against nationally ranked opponents (Creighton and Xavier), and are now 10-9 in Big East play. The Wildcats sit in 6th place in the Big East and with a win tonight, they will secure themselves an opening night game against 2-18 (Big East Record) Georgetown in the Big East tournament.
In terms of the national picture for Nova, they are currently around 4-10 spots outside of the tournament according to most brackets. However, with a win tonight, the Wildcats would dramatically improve their chances of getting into the tournament. Of course, the most direct route to a ticket to the Big Dance would be to win the Big East tournament next week.
Leading Scorers + Stats
Eric Dixon is now the average leading scorer on the season for the Wildcats with 16 points per game. Caleb Daniels and Justin Moore are right behind Dixon in average points per game with 14.9 and 13.3 points respectfully. Moore has scored at least 23 points in two of his last three games. Freshman Cam Whitmore averages 12.6 points per game and has scored double digits in three-straight matchups for the Wildcats.
A Glance at UConn
The UConn Huskies are one of the hottest teams in the Big East, if not the hottest team in the Big East. The Huskies are playing flawless basketball as they are winners of four straight. UConn has only lost one game since February 1st, which came on the road against Creighton. The Huskies started off the season as a top-5 team in the country, but heavily struggled in January, which led UConn to just barely staying in the Top 25. However, the Huskies are currently back to being ranked 14th in the country with Kenpom.com considering UConn the fifth best team in the country.
UConn Leading Scorers
Adama Sanogo is the average leading scorer for UConn. Sanogo averages 17.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. He is also coming off of a 26 point performance vs. DePaul on Wednesday. Jordan Hawkins averages 16.1 points per game for the Huskies. Hawkins was just 1-9 from the field against DePaul, but scored 20 points in three consecutive contests from February 18th until February 25th. Alex Karaban is one of UConn’s most effective three-point shooters. Karaban averages 9.5 points per game and scored 11 points against DePaul.
First Matchup: December 28th at UConn
Villanova and UConn matched up on December 28th in Connecticut. UConn held on late to defeat Nova, 74-66. The Wildcats turned the ball over 18 times, and the Huskies made them pay. Jordan Hawkins led the way for UConn by scoring 22 points. The leading scorer for Villanova was Caleb Daniels with 23 points. The Wildcats were also without Justin Moore for this contest. Obviously, the Wildcats are fully healthy and a better team now than in December, but in order to defeat one of the hottest teams in the country, Nova will have to protect the basketball/limit turnovers and execute from behind the arc. Nova was just 5-22 from three on December 28th.
How to Listen
WXVU will have complete coverage of tonight’s regular season finale beginning at 7:15pm with the Pregame Show. To listen, tune into the 89.1 FM Dial, visit our WXVU website, or download the FREE RadioFX app and search for Villanova University.