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DePaul vs. No. 3 Villanova Game Preview

The DePaul Blue Demons travel to Philly to meet the third ranked Villanova Wildcats on Tuesday night.  We preview the game in this report.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. No. 3 Villanova Wildcats – Tuesday, March 1st, 6 p.m. Central – The Pavilion, Villanova, Pennsylvania

Television – FOX Sports 1

Radio – WSCR AM 670

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Villanova Basketball

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Game Preview

Villanova fell from the top spot in the college basketball rankings today, following a hotly contested loss at Xavier last week, and are now third in the Associated Press poll and second in the USA Today Coaches poll.  No matter where they are ranked, Villanova is the toughest opponent that DePaul has faced this season.

For evidence, look no further than the first meeting between the two teams where the Wildcats trounced the Blue Demons 86 to 59.

Villanova is in pursuit of their third straight regular season Big East title.  A win over the Blue Demons on Tuesday night will get them that prize outright.

Villanova has more than just a league title to play for.  They are also looking to secure a top seed in the NCAA tournament.

The Wildcats lead the Big East in many statistical categories.  The biggest is on the defensive end of the floor.  VU leads the league in points allowed (63.1 ppg) and field goal percent defensive (39.3%)

While Josh Hart leads the Wildcats in scoring at 15.1 ppg and is getting some talk for Big East Player of the Year consideration, the guy who is the heart and soul of this team is senior guard Ryan Arcidiacono at 11.8 ppg and 4.3 assists per game.  Arcidiacono shared the Big East Player of the Year Award last year with Providence’s Kris Dunn.

For DePaul to win this one, they would have to play perfect, flawless basketball and hope that Nova’s players have an off night.   That’s not likely to happen.

Yet it’s an important game for DePaul to learn from.  If the Blue Demons were to win the first round game in the Big East Tournament next week, they would very likely meet Villanova in the second round of the tournament at Madison Square Garden.

The Last Time

On February 9, 2016 at Allstate Arena, Villanova played worthy of their number one ranking as they handed DePaul a 86-59 loss.

The Wildcats started out the game on a 8-0 run which set the tone for much of the game.  Villanova never trailed in the contest.

DePaul was outmatched by Villanova at every position on the floor.

It didn’t get any better in the second half for DePaul when the Wildcats opened up with a 15-0 run to start the half.

Villanova held a huge edge in points in the paint by outscoring DePaul by a 36-16 margin in the paint. 

The Wildcats also capitalized on Blue Demon miscues, by scoring 19 points off of 19 DePaul turnovers.

Villanova displayed a balanced offense with having five players finish in double figures. 

Josh Hart led all scorers with 18 points. Darryl Reynolds came off the bench to add 14 points and six rebounds.  Kris Jenkins added 13 points, while the duo of Daniel Ochefu and Jalen Brunson contributed 11 points apiece.

The one bright spot for DePaul was the play of freshman Eli Cain, who scored 15 points and the contribution of senior Myke Henry on the boards with nine points and 11 rebounds.

Villanova Roster

No.         Name    Pos.       Cl. (Exp.)              Ht.          Wt.         Hometown         High School

0              Henry Lowe        Guard   SR           5-11       185         New York, N.Y.  The Dalton School

1              Jalen Brunson    Guard   FR           6-2.5      199         Lincolnshire, Ill. Adlai Stevenson

2              Kris Jenkins         Forward               JR            6-6          240         Upper Marlboro, Md.    Gonzaga College High School

3              Josh Hart             Guard   JR            6-5          205         Silver Spring, Md.             Sidwell Friends

4              Eric Paschall        Forward               RS FR     6-7          260         Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.             St. Thomas More

5              Phil Booth           Guard   SO          6-3          185         Baltimore, Md.  Mount Saint Joseph

10           Donte DiVincenzo            Guard   FR           6-5          200         Wilmington, Del.              Salesianum

15           Ryan Arcidiacono             Guard   SR           6-3          195         Langhorne, Pa.  Neshaminy

20           Patrick Farrell     Forward               SR           6-5          200         Rockville Centre, N.Y.     Chaminade

23           Daniel Ochefu   Forward               SR           6-11       245         Baltimore, Md.  Downingtown East

25           Mikal Bridges     Guard/Forward                RS FR     6-7          191         Malvern, Pa.      Great Valley

34           Tim Delaney       Forward               FR           6-8.5      230         Mullica Hill, N.J. Pitman H.S./Blair Academy

45           Darryl Reynolds                Forward               JR            6-8          225         Philadelphia, Pa.               Lower Merion HS/Worcester Academy

52           Kevin Rafferty   Forward               SR           6-8          215         Malvern, Pa.      Malvern Prep

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