clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sleeping with the Enemy: The Wildcats of Villanova

SWTE logo

Your Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown take on the Mighty Wildcats of Villanova and as usual we here at THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON are bringing you everything you need to know about our next opponent. Here with us to dish on all things defending National Champs are our best blog bros at Let’s do this!

Georgetown! Villanova! The Pavilion! How excited are you for Tuesday night's game?

Finally! Not just that we've had to wait until there's just seven games left in the season, but also that we get to bring the rivalry back on campus. It's been over a decade since these two last met at the Pavilion, a nod to the kind of ticket sales this game can get at the Wells Fargo Center downtown. To put that in perspective, Randy Foye and Allan Ray combined for 42 to take down Roy Hibbert and the #17 Hoyas at the time.

Flashforward, and it's Georgetown that will be looking for the upset over a ranked team. Villanova's a great team, but by no means are they invincible. The Hoya's have proven they can beat ranked teams on the road, so it's not insane to think that if things go their way they couldn't pull the upset. But there are two big stats going against them. 1) Nova has won 47 straight games on campus, and 2) The senior class of Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins, and Darryl Reynolds have NEVER lost at the Pavillion. I don't think they'll be too eager to give up either of those streaks anytime soon.

Since the last time we played you went and won a damn National Championship! Congratulations on finally winning a title without the help of cocaine! What's been the biggest impact of the title on the program?

Thanks! Not going to lie, it's good to be the king. But as far as the biggest impact, I think it's felt in different ways. The team has done a good job of moving past it, at least during the regular season. Jay and the senior class have everyone else focused and locked into the task at hand, at least until the tournament rolls around and the "repeat" questions/pressure gets ramped up to full force. But based on the vibe of this team, I'd say they've handled it very well.

Really the biggest impact has been on everyone else we've played, and I expect Georgetown to be no different. Nova was the reigning Big East Regular Season and Tournament Champions last season, but they never saw everyone's best game the way they have this season. There's that extra motivation to beat the champs that have really tested this team, and the fact that they've been up to the challenge has been pretty damn impressive. Given the non-conference schedule and the improved Big East, I know a lot of fans didn't have them with just 2 losses heading into February.

Noted college basketball pundit Jon Rothstein likes to tweet out that "Villanova is like a Fortune 500 company. It runs itself." To what extent does that accurately portray the efficiency with which Jay Wright runs the program?

Jay is a great coach, and I think he'd make a great CEO too. He brings in the right people, and then relies on them to help run the team. He can't be everywhere at once, and so he relies a lot on his leaders to be extensions of himself on and off the court. Jalen Brunson is his floor general, his eyes and ears on the court. Kris Jenkins is the motivator, getting the team pumped at the right times. Darryl Reynolds is the team's rock, supplying confidence and quiet reassurance. And Josh Hart is, get ready for a crappy pun, the heart of this team. Wright can rely on his leaders to steer the ship when he needs to focus on developing younger guys. That faith in his players is the main reason why they all have so much faith in him and his program. So yeah, it does kind of run itself.

It's been a real sore spot for Hoyas fans that Josh Hart has become a National Player of the Year contender for you guys. No real question here, so just take this spot to gloat a little bit about him. Might as well get that out of the way now.

Hart is having one of the best year's in program history, and that's just statistically. And when I say statistically, I mean all of the statistics. This year he's 1st in scoring and rebounds, 2nd in steals and assists, and 3rd in blocks. Josh Jackson of Kansas and Ethan Happ of Wisconsin are the only other players in the Top 10 that can claim to be Top 3 on their team in all 5 categories, and Hart has outscored both of them by about 100 points this season. Add in that he's the teams best defender and can make his own shot anywhere on the court, and I think he's a lock for National Player of the Year.

We know that Scottie Reynolds is always a threat on Villanova's roster, but other than Scottie who else has stepped up lately for the Wildcats who Hoyas fans should watch out for?

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if our point guard is just Scottie Reynolds in a Jalen Brunson mask. Brunson has really stepped up his game this season and is showing why he was considered a 5 star recruit out of high school. So far in Big East play he's averaging 16 points and 4.5 assists per game, and if defense didn't matter he'd be giving Hart a run for his money as the team's best player. The team runs through him, and his presence on offense demands enough respect that teams can't just focus on shutting down Hart.

There's two others that deserve honorable mention in the "stepped up lately" category. Donte DiVincenzo, a redshirt freshman who Wright has dubbed the "Michael Jordan of Delaware", just had himself a week. After tipping in the game winner at the last possible second to beat Virginia, he goes off for a career high 20 points against St. John's on Saturday. The other one to watch is redshirt sophomore Mikal Bridges. He's got the wingspan of a condor and can guard 1-4 on defense. And this offseason, he went out and found himself some offense to match it. Now he's one of the team's most efficient shooters and continues to rise up NBA draft boards as a "3 and D" guy.

Please rank the following: Snickers, Reese's, Kit Kat, Hershey's milk chocolate, M&M's

Now we get into a subject I actually know something about, as opposed to the guesswork I do with college basketball. Here we go:

1) Snickers - Covers all your bases and hits the spot every time

2) Reese's - Best blend of chocolate and peanut butter on the market

3) Hershey's Milk Chocolate - The OG and the most versatile in terms of combinations

4) M&M's - Best of the group for sharing... which is why they're not the best

5) Kit Kat - An old reliable, just not my first choice.

Emma Stone was marvelous in La La Land. What is your pick for best film of the year?

What are these moo-vees you speak of? I have a one year old at home, so unfortunately I haven't gotten to see any of the talkies this year. Does the 20 minute youtube video of dogs running around to upbeat songs that my daughter makes us play on loop count?

Villanova's obviously heading to the big dance, with a great chance at a #1 seed. Which other Big East teams do you think join them in the tourney?

I think it's safe to say that Nova, Butler, Creighton, and Xavier are locks. Side note, anyone that questioned adding these three to the Big East, how you like them now? After that I think there's an opportunity to get 1 or 2 more in, and that probably comes from the pool of Seton Hall, Marquette, and Georgetown. Right now I think Marquette has the edge in that group. If all three of you can stay in contention until the Big East Tournament, whoever can get a big upset will get invites to the tourney.

Thoughts on the Super Bowl (or at least on the halftime show?)

I'm not a Brady fan, but you can't deny he's a hell of a quarterback. It's similar to the begrudging way I liked Jeter towards the end of his career. I really didn't want to like him, but dammit, I had to respect him. As for the halftime show, I thought it was awesome. While I like her music, I thought the performance took it over the top. Any halftime show from now on that doesn't feature a swarm of drones is a waste of my time.

Final score prediction?

I don't want to take this Georgetown team lightly, especially now that you're starting to string some wins together. That being said, I think you'll have a much better chance at pulling the upset in March, because it's just not going to happen in the Pavillion. gives the Cats a 91% chance to win and predicts a 15 point margin. I'll be a little more realistic and say that after Nova let St. John's force them into a sprinting match, this one is going to be VERY slow paced. I like Nova 65-56 in a game that's close in the first and not so much in the second.