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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Wildcats of Villanova

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Georgetown! Villanova! The Big East's best square off for a second time on Saturday and as usual we here at THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON are bringing you everything you need to know about Georgetown's next opponent.  Here with us as always are our buddies at VU Hoops, your trusted source for all things Wildcats.  Let's do this!

Villanova! Round 2! You scared?

I refer you to my good friend Bone Crusher :

The Hoyas blitzed the Wildcats at Verizon Center.  In your view was that just a blip on the radar for Villanova or did Georgetown expose any perceived weaknesses that you may have for this Nova squad?

It's a blip on the radar in the grand scheme of things but they brought back the Creighton effect from last year in that Jay Wright has a reeeeeeeeeallly hard time stopping the bleeding before it gets out of hand. I think he trusts his guys to a fault, and when the shots aren't dropping for 'Nova (and credit to G'Town, that was as impressive a defensive performance as I've seen) and the other team is hot (again, Hoyas couldn't miss) it gets really ugly. He needs to figure that out.

Scottie Reynolds wasn't much of a factor in our first meeting.  Do you expect Jay Wright to alter the gameplan to get him more involved this go-around?

It was really disappointing when the preconceived plan of Reynolds coming out of the stands to RKO D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera didn't come to fruition. In a related note, if you have any information on Scottie please forward.

Speaking of that gameplan, any reason Villanova didn't play zone against the Hoyas? I understand that Nova prefers to play man, but that's like saying I wouldn't present Superman with a bouquet of kryptonite because I prefer roses. Or something.

I honestly don't remember the last time Jay Wright deployed a zone. I'm not sure if he thinks it's illegal or he's doing it for spite because he doesn't want to be like Jim Boeheim. I prefer to think it's the latter. The scouting report clearly has shown that Georgetown struggles against the zone, so I'd hope we see a bit of it on Saturday, but I know it won't happen.

Other than Kyle Lowry, Jay Wright doesn't have a great history of sending guys to the NBA who exceed at the next level.  Any reason for that? Related, I have been very impressed with Dante Cunningham's play for my New Orleans Pelicans.  Is he a better pro than you thought he'd be?  Where the hell is James Bell?

Lowry has really only just broken out - he toiled around for the first several years of his career. A lot of folks would have argued that Randy Foye has had just as a good of a career (before injuries derailed it in the last few years). Allan Ray could have made it in the NBA, but went for the money in Europe and I don't think he regrets it. He's tearing it up in Italy right now.

Glad to hear you are enjoying Dante's impact. He got such a raw deal in Minnesota with the bogus assault charge (during a time when the NFL was really helping out!) and I'm glad to see he's back to his old ways. I always thought he'd be exactly the player he is - good defense, rebounds and can get 10-15 points when given the chance.

James Bell is playing in Italy right now - he's another guy that I think could have stuck it out and gone back and forth between the NBA and the D-League this season, but it's tough to blame these guys for taking guaranteed money. Bell just had his first kid last year, so he's got that to think about too.

Ryan Arcidiacano is well on his way to being one of the more despised Wildcats in recent memory.  Who makes this list for you on the Hoyas in the JT3 era?

Glad you asked. While I was at school, I just despised Jonathan Wallace with a passion typically reserved for guys that did much worse things. It's not like Wallace dove here, but this call was just brutal and made Wallace a villain to me for all eternity.


Speaking of the JT3 era, we recently had a feature on THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON about the top 25 wins and top 25 losses for the Hoyas under JT3.  Give me 3 for each category for you under Fancy Pants.

The best has to be Scottie Reynolds over Pitt in Boston. Number two was the win over then #1 UConn at the then-Wachovia Center in 2006. Number three is the first game I ever attended (so a personal choice) but a huge win nonetheless over #5 Oklahoma at the Pavilion where Randy Foye dropped 32 points. I actually thought the stands were going to collapse at one point it was so nuts in there.

Do I have to talk about the losses? The beatdown Columbia handed us in 2012 is the worst I can remember under Wright. A close second is the 2011 NCAA Tournament collapse to George Mason. I don't think I blogged for a week after that. Also, the 2011 Big East Tournament loss to South Florida. Nobody should ever lose to South Florida.

Honestly, there's probably some worse ones that I have mentally erased.

Barring something cray cray happening, Villanova looks to be at worst a 3 seed in the Dance.  Do you think this team can make a lot of noise in March?  Which other Big East squads will join the Cats in the Tournament?

As always, it's going to depend on matchups. For the first time in a few years I just don't worry about Villanova running in to some mid-major buzzsaw. They can handle that. But they struggle against well-coached teams that can match them or best them athletically. Georgetown is a good example of that. Iowa State seems like that would be nice to avoid. Same with Virginia. But I think a Sweet 16 run feels likely.

Georgetown, Butler and Providence are all locks. Seton Hall is probably okay. St. John's isn't going to make it barring a miracle and Xavier is fading quickly. If it weren't for an embarrassing OOC performance I think DePaul could be making some bubble noise. Fire Oliver Purnell.

Speaking of March, we won't see Syracuse playing in any postseason tournament.  HOORAY! Do you applaud the school for self-imposing a ban or is it laughable to do so in a year in which it had no chance of making the Dance anyway? Note the correct answer is the latter.

Part of me just wants to pay respect, because as a fan I don't think I'd mind if my school figured out a sneaky way to get around something this serious. Then I remember how smarmy Jim Boeheim is and I just want to hurt everyone. It's an absolute disgrace and since the NCAA is an even bigger disgrace they are definitely getting away with this and frankly getting a pretty good deal.

A nice Saturday afternoon game lends itself to one thing above all: SNACKS! Talk to us about your ideal spread for a casual Georgetown - Villanova battle.

A six-pack of Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin' will be be gracing my presence. Strong beer is good and if things are going bad it's great because you don't remember how the game went. My fiancee makes a mean buffalo chicken dip so that'll be making an appearance and I have the good fortune of spending this weekend with my family so I'll get to fly high with some bacon-wrapped scallops.

Final score prediction?

This one should be really close. Georgetown needs a win to stay in the title race and Villanova will be out for revenge. I actually think defense prevails for both sides and we get a bit of a rockfight. 63-60 Villanova.