After about a ten day No. 8 Virginia men's basketball team is turning its attention to No. 12 Villanova. The Cavaliers host the Wildcats at the John Paul Jones Arena.
"It was our intent and I think Villanova's as well to play the best teams out there, and the dates matched up," said UVA Head coach Tony Bennett. "We have the outmost respect for that program."
For the second consecutive game, the Cavs are facing a ranked opponent- the 'Hoos are coming off a 70-54 win over West Virginia. The Wildcats are coming into the game off a 76-47 win over La Salle and like the Wahoos are 8-1 on the season.
"An excellent team. They played a hot Oklahoma team and didn't shoot well and then they bounced back very well against La Salle.
"You're playing the best four guard spacing team in the college game," Bennett added. "A team that has certainly won back-to-back championships and are always good."
There is no doubt that the 'Hoos non-conference schedule is as tough as it gets this season, as Virginia will have another ranked opponent waiting for them next week in California.
"Playing teams with different styles in the non-conference gives you a reference point when you get into conference play and beyond if you're fortunate enough."
Behind Enemy Lines
If there was one word to describe Nova it would be efficient. Nova is ranked in the top 20 nationally in both offensive and defensive efficiency. The team is shooting 44.8 percent and scoring an average of 76 points per game. They have also held their opponents to less than 36 percent shooting.
However, the visitors have struggled from three-point range, only shooting 30.4 percent from beyond the arc - not the number you want to see when you are facing the pack-line defense.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Josh Hart leads the team in scoring this season with 15 points per game, finishing every game this season in double figures. He also averages 7.1 rebounds. Beyond the arc its senior Ryan Arcidiacono that provides the biggest threat. He is shooting 41 percent from three-point range.
If you have followed UVA basketball recruiting this next name needs no introduction. Jalen Brunson was a former Virginia recruiting together and has lived up to the hype at Nova. He has averaged 10.8 points per game in his freshman season and has added 3.4 assists on average.
Tip off for the game is slated for noon on Saturday.