Friday, February 22, 2013

Must Win: Villanova-Marquette Primer

I'm sad you're leaving too, Moe
I have held out on doing this all season, but tomorrow's game against Marquette is the first time all season that I am definitively going to say that a Villanova game is one that they have to win.

What makes me say this? Well, I figure that VU must win at least two more of their games and there are four of them left, two home, two away. I think that three of the remaining games are winnable, but even the two home games against Marquette and Georgetown will be very difficult to win. The road game against Seton Hall is also a must win, because even though it is a road game, the Pirates are not a good team. Future games are besides the point. Villanova needs to win tomorrow because it will give them enough quality wins to make them hard to ignore by the selection committe, and because I know that there will be a lot of Georgetown fans in the Wells Fargo Center 12 days from now, limiting the home court advantage to a degree. Also, because I'm not sure how much Villanova will be able to score against the Hoyas.

Speaking of scoring, that's the one thing that Marquette does about as well or better than any team Villanova has played so far, as the Golden Eagles shoot 46.6% from the field and convert at better than 73% from the free throw line. On offense they have one glaring weakness a: putrid 30.2% conversion rate from beyond the arc. To put things in perspective, Villanova's horrible-shooting 2011-2012 team shot 31.5% from three. There is an issue with Marquette's three point conversion rate though: They seem to recognize how bad they are at shooting threes, so they don't take many of them, ranking in the bottom 20 of the country in attempts.

So what must Villanova do to win? I think they have to coax Marquette into shooting threes by any means necessary, especially Vander Blue, who loves to shoot threes despite the fact that he only converts on 30.9% of his attempts. Even Jamil Wilson, their leading three point shooter, who despite shooting 42.6% from beyond the arc, it looks as if he's experienced a good run of luck and may be due for some leveling off.

I say it too often, but this is a winnable game, and Villanova needs this one way more than Marquette.

Thank you Mouph and Moe for gutting it out.

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