Marquette vs #5 Villanova Road to March Madness

Marquette vs #5 Villanova Road to March Madness | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on February 9, 2021

Fifth-ranked Villanova is in control of its destiny to win the Big East regular-season title, but the Wildcats also have designs on a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They will be solid home favorites on the NCAAB odds for Wednesday’s game vs. Marquette – which wouldn’t make the NCAA tourney as things stand.

How to Bet Marquette at Villanova NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Wednesday, 9 PM ET
  • Where: Finneran Pavilion
  • TV: Fox Sports 1
  • Stream: Fox Sports Go
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA (Villanova will be favored)

Last Meeting

On Dec. 23, Marquette hosted Villanova and was spanked 85-68. Marquette was seeking to beat a top-10 team for the third time this season. The Golden Eagles had beaten then-No. 4 Wisconsin 67-65 on Dec. 4 and topped then-No. 9 Creighton 89-84 on Dec. 14. Villanova committed just four turnovers while forcing 17, leading to an 18-3 discrepancy in points off turnovers.

“They’re the most skilled team we’ve played,” Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski said. “All five of their guys that they start and the guys they bring off the bench, they’re basketball players — they’re position-less basketball players and they have the ability to pass, handle and shoot. And they make really good decisions. They take care of the ball, and I think it all starts with Gillespie, his veteran leadership. His poise is exceptional.”

Why Bet on Marquette? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Marquette (9-10) lost at home to No. 15 Creighton on Saturday, 71-68. The Golden Eagles trailed by 12 in the second half but rallied as D.J. Carton sank two 3-pointers in the final minute. Carton’s final 3 cut Creighton’s lead to 70-68 with 35.9 seconds remaining.

Bluejays guard Marcus Zegarowski made one free throw but missed his second with 23.7 seconds left, giving Marquette one last chance. Carton couldn’t get open for a tying 3 as Shereef Mitchell guarded him closely. Koby McEwen missed a contested 3-point attempt in the closing seconds for the Golden Eagles.

Carton scored 16 points, Jamal Cain had 14 and Theo John added 10 for Marquette. Justin Lewis returned to action after missing two games with a leg injury, but went scoreless in eight minutes. Lewis entered averaging 8.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 22.3 minutes per game.

For the year, Carton is contributing 4.7 points per game in the first half, attempting an average of just 4.0 shots per contest prior to intermission. Over the course of the final 20 minutes, however, he leads the roster with an average of 7.7 points per outing on an average of 5.6 shots per contest. He leads the team in scoring at 12.7 points per game.

With the move of the Feb. 20 home contest against St. John’s to Jan. 31, Marquette will now open a five-game road trip at Villanova Wednesday. The Golden Eagles will go an entire month between home games, not returning to Fiserv Forum until March 6 against Xavier on Senior Day.

Marquette hasn’t played five straight on the road since the 1980-81 campaign and the team went 3-2 in those outings.  Since the program began league affiliation in 1989-90, the team has never played five-consecutive games outside of Milwaukee in conference action.

Why Bet on Villanova? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Villanova (12-2) had been ranked third in the AP Top 25 but lost early last week at St. John’s 70-59 and then rebounded to beat visiting Georgetown 84-74 on Sunday. Jermaine Samuels had a career-high 32 points vs. Georgetown. After falling behind 67-66, the Wildcats outscored the Hoyas 18-8 over the final 5:46 to claim the win. Though they were 13.5-point favorites, the Wildcats never led by more than 10 in the matchup.

“That was a really tough Big East game against a Georgetown team that is playing really well,” stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright. “They are really well-coached, so intelligent offensively and long and physical defensively. So that was a good victory for us.”

Samuels was coming off a subpar game at St. John’s, which dealt the Wildcats their first Big East loss of the season. He had just two points on 1-of-6 shooting.

“He definitely came out with a fierce focus (Sunday), and not just aggressiveness but intelligence,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “He drove the ball well. He shot the ball well, got our offense started, hitting people, getting other people shots. In the first half he just carried us.”

Villanova finished the day with 21 assists on 26 made field goal and drained 17-of-18 at the free throw line. On Monday, Samuels was tabbed as the Philadelphia Big Five Player of the Week and named to the Big East Honor Roll. Three others joined Samuels in double figures. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Collin Gillespie and Justin Moore hit double digits, scoring 14, 12 and 10 respectively.

Villanova holds a 26-12 advantage over Marquette in an all-time series that dates back to 1960. The Wildcats have been ranked in the top-15 in 16 of the last 17 meetings against Marquette, including four matchups as the top-ranked team in the land.

Expert Prediction

  • Villanova 75, Marquette 66

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