Radford vs. Villanova NCAA Basketball Betting Preview & Game Info

Radford vs. Villanova NCAA Basketball Game Info

Written by on March 14, 2018

No chance, right? No way that top-seeded Villanova is upset by the First Four winner Radford. Can’t happen! Probably not and the Wildcats will be huge NCAA Basketball betting favorites to reach the Round of 32.

Radford vs. Villanova NCAA Basketball Betting Preview & Game Info

When: Thursday, 6:50 PM ET Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh TV: TNT Radio: 101.7 FM (Radford) / 950 AM (Villanova) Opening NCAA Basketball Betting Lines: TBA

Why Bet on Radford?

This story was written before the result of the LIU Brooklyn/Radford game was in Tuesday night – earlier this week we previewed that First Four matchup here at MyBookie and recommended Radford. It was Radford’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2009 and only its third overall. The Highlanders were 22-12 this season and entering the tournament on a seven-game winning streak. LIU Brooklyn, which is led by first-year coach Derek Kellogg, won the Northeast Conference as a No. 4 seed, upsetting top-seeded Wagner 71-61 to make the tournament field with an 18-16 record. It frankly doesn’t matter which team won as this won’t be close – Villanova is likely to be a 20-point favorite regardless. Of course, No. 1 seeds have won all 132 meetings with No. 16 seeds, and the average margin of victory the past three years has been 28.4 points. Since 1998, only four of 80 matchups have been decided by single digits, all of which came in a three-year span (2012-14). One of those involved one of this year’s No. 1 seeds, as Kansas struggled with 16th-seeded Western Kentucky in 2013 before winning by seven points.

Why Bet on Villanova?

“I don’t know them well enough yet to know if they’re similar,” Coach Jay Wright said about Tuesday’s First Four matchup between LIU Brooklyn and Radford. “If they’re kind of similar teams, it’s not as bad. But if they’re really distinctively different styles, it’s hard, because we’ll practice for the next two days doing two different styles. Then when you find out who wins, you’ll pick one style. But hey, it’s all part of it.” The Wildcats faced a similar dilemma last year, only having one full day to prepare for Mount St. Mary’s, which won its First Four game in Dayton before facing ‘Nova in Buffalo. Villanova won that game easily. Villanova had a four-year run of winning the Big East regular-season title end but beat Providence for the Big East Tournament title. The win gave the Wildcats (30-4 overall) their second consecutive Big East Tournament crown and third in the last four seasons. It is the fourth in program history. Jalen Brunson tied a career high with 31 points while Mikal Bridges – named the Dave Gavitt Award winner as Most Outstanding Player – added 25 points. Brunson was Big East Player of the Year, and Bridges is an even better NBA candidate.  Over his last eight games, including the final five of the regular season and three in the Big East Tournament, Bridges has averaged 23.1 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. He has raised his season averages to 18.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per outing. Is Villanova a safe bet to win in the First Round of March Madness 2018?

What Record Did Villanova Break?

Villanova is the second team in D-I history to win at least 30 games in four straight seasons, joining Kansas, which did it from 2009-10 through 2012-13. Memphis also did it in four straight from 2005-06 to 2008-09, but its 2007-08 season was later vacated. If Villanova reaches the Final Four, it will set a D-I record for wins in a four-year span (this is also true for Gonzaga). Villanova has won 130 games in the past four seasons. The record is 133 by Duke (1997-98 through 2000-01). This marks the 38th appearance all-time appearance for the Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament and fourth time they have earned the No. 1 seed.  Villanova was previously a No. 1 seed in the Minneapolis Region in 2006 and in the East Region in 2015 and 2017. Villanova was ranked in the Top Six of the Associated Press poll for every week in 2017-18. The Wildcats were listed at No. 6 in the preseason poll and spent eight weeks as the nation’s No. 1 team. Entering the NCAA Tournament, VU stood at No. 2 overall (+31.34), trailing only Virginia in the overall kenpom.com listings. Its Adjusted Offensive Efficiency of 127.4 points per 100 possessions ranked first in the nation. The Cats’ Adjusted Defensive Efficiency of 96.0 points per 100 possessions ranks 22nd nationally. The Wildcats own 10 victories over teams in the NCAA RPI Top 45: two over Xavier (No. 3); Tennessee (No. 8); Gonzaga (No. 21); a pair over Seton Hall (No. 31); two over Providence (No. 32); Butler (41) and Creighton (No. 44).

Expert NCAA Basketball Betting Prediction

This one will be over by halftime with Villanova winning by at least 25.