Seton Hall vs #3 Villanova

Seton Hall vs #3 Villanova | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on January 18, 2021

Third-ranked Villanova hasn’t taken the court since Dec. 23 due to COVID postponements, but the Wildcats are set to return Tuesday night against Big East rival Seton Hall. Nova will be favored on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Seton Hall at Villanova NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

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

Last Meeting

These schools split last season, each winning on the road. The game at Villanova was a 70-64 upset by the Pirates. Myles Powell (now in NBA) had 19 points, Sandro Mamukelashvili scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half and the Pirates snapped a 17-game road losing streak to Villanova. Quincy McKnight added 14 points for the Pirates, who last won at Villanova on Feb. 26, 1994. The teams were meeting for the 118th time, but it was the first matchup when both were ranked in the AP Top 25.

Why Bet on Seton Hall? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Seton Hall hasn’t played since a Jan. 9 76-68 win at DePaul. Jared Rhoden scored 18 points as the Pirates won despite not making a field goal for nearly nine minutes to finish the game. The Pirates had a 64-47 lead after Myles Cale’s 3-pointer at the 8:57 mark then went 12 of 12 at the free-throw line for the remainder of their points. DePaul got within six twice in the final 2:09. The victory gave Kevin Willard his 100th Big East win, including conference and tournament games.

Seton Hall went 14-for-14 from the free throw line in the second half to overcome not making a field goal in the final 8:57 of the game. The Hall, winner of eight of its last 10 games, is now 6-2 in the Big East, the 1999-00 Pirates team for second-best eight-game start in program history. Last season’s team started 8-0 before going on to win the Big East regular season championship.

The Pirates have now won their last 15 Big East conference games when holding their opponent under 70 points. Dating back to last season, the Pirates are 10-3 over their last 13 league road games.

Seton Hall was supposed to play Saturday vs. Xavier but it was postponed. Senior Sandro Mamukelashvili is averaging 18.1 points per game, 6.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists and opposing teams are having trouble containing him in the paint. Mamukelashvili is the only player in the Big East averaging at least 18.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists. Jared Rhoden ranks top 12 the Big East in in scoring, rebounding and free throw shooting.

“Sandro, you just don’t run into guys like that that have that size, that play on the perimeter and can literally go by you,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “He can put it on the floor and go by you, he can shoot 3s, he’s a great passer.”

Additionally, the Pirates have an impressive defense that is led by Mamukelashvili’s frontcourt running mate, Ike Obiagu. Obiagu is averaging three blocks per game, which when complemented by the team’s 6.7 steals per game, could frustrate Villanova in the half-court offense.

Coach Willard said Bryce Aiken (ankle) “is still out” for Tuesday’s game and it remains unclear when he will return. Not a huge loss as he only plays about 12 minutes per game off the bench.

Why Bet on Villanova? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Villanova’s first COVID-19 pause began after Christmas. Villanova returned to practice on Sunday, Jan. 3 before being forced to shut down again the following day after two more Tier 1 members of the program tested positive. The program resumed practice last Thursday (Jan. 14).

“Everyone has dealt with this,” stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright of the pandemic. “It’s not the just the days you are out. It’s getting the guys going after a pause. This is our third quarantine. We’ve had two injuries coming out of the last two quarantines. Caleb (Daniels) and Eric (Dixon) both got hurt in that one practice we had (Jan. 3). You’ve got to be careful about that and I think the Big East is looking at that.”

Wright previously tested positive for COVID-19 and was in quarantine along with two players. Wright revealed that Caleb Daniels and Jermaine Samuels were the two players who tested positive for the coronavirus in the latest shutdown. While Daniels and Samuels are out of quarantine right now, the issue in regard to getting them ready to play Tuesday is that they are not permitted to practice or otherwise start to get back into game-shape until the testing for myocarditis is done. Eric Dixon and Daniels also suffered small injuries (Achilles and calf, respectively) during the one practice the team had in between quarantine periods.

One bit of good news is that sophomore guard Bryan Antoine, who has yet to play this season due to a shoulder injury suffered in October, has returned to practice.

Villanova (8-1) last played on Dec. 23 at Marquette and won 85-68. Senior Collin Gillespie led a balanced Nova attack, scoring 22 points. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl added 13 points and seven rebounds while junior Brandon Slater gave the ‘Cats a lift off the bench, contributing 10 points and three rebounds.

Villanova forced 17 Marquette turnovers which created an 18-3 advantage in points off of turnovers. After the sizzling start, the Golden Eagles sank just 18-of 41 from the field the rest of the way.

“That was a really good second half defensive effort,” stated Nova coach Jay Wright. “I really don’t have an answer for why we started slowly. We were more connected later in the first half and then into the second half.”

Gillespie and Robinson-Earl have been named to the John Wooden Award Midseason List.

Expert Prediction

  • Villanova 76, Seton Hall 69

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