Game 17: Georgetown Hoyas (11-5, 1-2) at No. 16 Villanova Wildcats (11-3, 2-1)
When: Saturday noon
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Series: Hoyas lead 44-40
Last Meeting: Georgetown won 85-73 on 2/20/19
TV: FS1 (Brian Custer & Len Elmore)
Radio: The Team 980 (Rich Chvotkin)
KenPom Rankings: Villanova 21, Georgetown 46
KenPom Score Prediction: Villanova 78, Georgetown 72 (70 percent)
NET Rankings: Villanova 20, Georgetown 47
Line: Wildcats -7, 147.5 o/u
Georgetown snapped a two-game losing streak in destroying St. John’s on Wednesday night with one of their most balanced games of the season. All five starters were in double figures and the Hoyas got their first BIG EAST victory of the season.
Mac McClung led the way but Jamorko Pickett might have had his most complete game as a Hoya and Terrell Allen and Jagan Mosely provided the steady senior play that’s needed. Both could stand to shoot a bit more, particularly Mosely but it was a nice bounce back game by all.
Georgetown comes into Saturday as winner’s in the last game in the series. The last time the Hoyas could say that was in 2015.
Since not much makes a whole lot of sense about this season, it might just be the right time for Georgetown to snap a seven-game road losing streak and win at Villanova for the first time since 2011.
Omer Yurtseven came up with a double-double against the Red Storm on Wednesday but the transfer center has yet to impose his will in conference play through three games.
As I’m sure everyone who’s reading this will agree, at Villanova would be great place for Yurtseven to start adjusting to BIG EAST play. Yurtseven needs a game like Jamorko Pickett had on Wednesday where he gets up around 15 shots and makes nearly half of them. The 7-footer was just 2 for 5 from the field but did make all six of his free throws.
So back to the whole, Georgetown can actually win this game, this year, thing. This really isn’t the Villanova that has been terrorizing the league since realignment.
That’s not to say that Jay Wright’s bunch isn’t very good. It’s just that they aren’t the well-oiled offensive juggernaut from recent years that could show up and name their score. This team gets things done with defense and they showed that in their comeback at Creighton earlier in the week.
It what reads like a misprint; Villanova has gone four straight games without cracking 70 points. It’s worth pointing that they are 3-1 in this stretch with a win over then-No. 1 Kansas.
Colin Gillespie is the Wildcats leading scorer and right now their only real threat from deep. Villanova is first in conference games in three-point attempts but second to last by knocking down just 23 percent.
Saddiq Bey, Justin Moore, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, and Jermaine Samuels all join Gillespie in double-figures but it’s a really young team. Yurtseven should be able to use his experience against Robinson-Earl to get off his best game in conference play so far.
GET TO 80!
After scoring 60 and 62 in losses at Providence and at Seton Hall, Georgetown went for 87 against St. John’s and it’s a good thing. Under Ewing, Georgetown is 12-5 in BIG EAST games when getting at least 80.
When scoring less than 80, it’s pretty bleak as the Hoyas are just 3-21. Two of those wins – St. John’s (2018) and Providence (2019) did come on the road.
Since realignment in 2013, Villanova has won 11 of the 13 meetings and nine of those came by double-digits. Oddly enough both Georgetown wins during that span came by 20 and then 12 points. Villanova owns two five-point wins in 2014 and 2016 but other than that, this series has yet to provide any real game drama in what seems like forever.
After winning 4 of 6 at Villanova from 2005 to 2011, Georgetown, as mentioned earlier, has dropped seven straight on the road to the Wildcats with each loss coming by double-figures. The closest margin came in 67-57 defeat in 2013 that snapped an improbable 11-game winning streak by Otto and the Gang.
Prediction: Georgetown 80, Villanova 74 – Hoyas win the rare close game between the longtime rivals as McClung and Yurtseven both have big afternoons.