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GAME THREAD: No. 11 Villanova at Georgetown

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Hoyas try and snap 5-game skid and get first Big East win in Saturday’s Gray Out

NCAA Basketball: St. John at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Game 16: No. 11 Villanova (13-5, 6-2) at Georgetown Hoyas (6-9, 0-4)

When: Saturday noon

Where: Capital One Arena

Series: Hoyas cling to a 45-44 all-time lead

Last meeting: The Hoyas walked away with a narrow 72-71 victory in the 2021 Big East quarterfinals on their way to claiming an 8th Championship

TV: FS1 (Brandon Gaudin & Jim Jackson)

Radio: The Team 980 (Rich Chvotkin, 48th season), SiriusXM 381, Radio.com

NET Ranking: Villanova 6, Georgetown 208

KenPom Ranking: Villanova 5, Georgetown 161

KenPom Projection: Villanova 77-63 (90%)

Line: Villanova -14.5, o/u 139.5

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PREVIEW

It’s been coming for quite some time but this could be the season where Villanova edges ahead in the all-time series over Georgetown in this once great rivalry. Of course as we all know, the Hoyas delayed this by at least a season with their big upset over the Wildcats in the 2021 BET that propelled them to their first Championship since 2007 and unexpectedly grab the automatic NCAA Tournament bid in the process.

The Hoyas last trailed in the series at 7-6 back in 1976. However, most of the series has been played since Villanova joined the league - no, the Wildcats weren’t original members - and it’s been all Hoyas during that time. Georgetown’s largest lead in the head-to-head series came at 42-28 after a 67-46 home win in 2012. Since then it’s been almost all Villanova, with the Wildcats winning 16 of the last 19.

But look, it’s the Gray Out game and anything could happen as Georgetown does catch Villanova after the Wildcats lost the rare on campus game to Marquette midweek.

Speaking of the Gray Out, I think Georgetown is doing it right this season by making ticket holders go and collect their shirts rather than have them plastered all over the lower level. The hope would be that attendance is good for this one like the Syracuse game earlier but you never know. The only downfall is the possibility of long lines delaying fans trying to grab those shirts and get to their seats by tip-off but right now that seems like a problem most would gladly take.

The good news for Georgetown on the court is that Donald Carey didn’t miss a beat after a long absence with an illness. The other good news is that Kaiden Rice responded well to coming off the bench for the first time by scoring 19 points in 21 minutes. Against the Wildcats and all their stars - Collin Gillespie, Justin Moore and Jermaine Samuels - this probably isn’t the game for Patrick Ewing to roll with a center for 40 minutes. Can they go small with Collin Holloway or Jalin Billingsley? It seems worth a try. Right?

1,000 POINTS

Carey almost got to the milestone mark at Providence in his return to the court on Thursday but the grad student is now certain to do it at home as he enters Saturday with 998 college points spread across stops at Mount St. Mary’s, Siena and now Georgetown.

BIG CONCERN

One area where Georgetown struggles and Villanova excels is 2PT shooting percentages in Big East play. The Hoyas are the worst team in the league by allowing teams to shoot 61 % on 2s while Villanova is the leader in conference games in shooting 52 %.

You of course already knew that because you most certainly listed to the most recent Kente Korner.

AVOIDING HISTORY

As if staying ahead of Villanova in the all-time series wasn’t enough history in play on Saturday, the Hoyas also need a win to avoid a program-worst start in conference play. Sitting at 0-4 in the Big East for the third time - 1999 & 2017 - the Hoyas have never gone winless in their first five.

Leave your witty (and non-witty) in-game comments here!

HOYA SAXA!