Publish Date: February 4, 2022
Fact checked by: David Genge
The 15-5 UCONN Huskies are traveling to Philadelphia to take on the 16-6 Villanova Wildcats this Saturday, February 5th. Earlier this week both teams lost to Big East rivals. UCONN fell to 13-7 Creighton 59-55, while Villanova lost again to #24 Marquette (this time 83-73 in Milwaukee). With those losses, the Big East standings are up for grabs. Furthermore, this game holds the key to making the tournament as a higher seed, with the loser likely dropping spots in the NET rankings. The Best Betting Offers allow you to win more with less money, so take advantage of all the great deals before placing bets this Saturday.
Currently, #15 Providence holds the lead in the standings for the Big East. The Friars have an easier schedule this week, as they already beat St. John’s (T-7th in the Big East), and later play Georgetown (Last in the Big East (B.E)). Villanova is only a game behind Providence, after their loss to Marquette (3rd in B.E.). UCONN dropped to fourth with their loss to Creighton (Sixth in the B.E.). However, UCONN (short for the University of Connecticut) is only two and a half games back of the lead.
Last year four Big East teams made it into the tournament. This year it looks like five will definitely make it in, with a chance that three more teams could also make it. The Big East is looking like the best conference in basketball right now with five teams in the current Top 25, which is only matched by the Big 12. They also sport eight of their eleven teams in the top 100 in NET (seven of those in the top 67). This is one of the biggest matchups of the year in the Big East, and it will be replayed in less than three weeks in Hartford, Connecticut.
The Villanova Wildcats are 8-1 at home so far this year. Their only loss at home was to a close matchup with Marquette 57-54. The Wildcats are lead by Senior Guard Collin Gillespie who has been shooting 17.1 points per game, 90.8% from the free throw line, and is shooting 42.4% from the three point line this year.
Villanova as a team shoot a respectable 72.5 points per game, pass the ball around and get 12.6 assists per game, and holds opponents to only 61.1 points per game themselves. Villanova ranks seventh in NET (NCAA Estimate Tool), despite losing six games this year. Out of six teams Villanova has lost to, five of them are currently ranked in the AP Top 25 Poll(#24 Marquette twice, #8 Baylor, #4 Purdue, & #3 UCLA in overtime). Villanova will win at home this game, but watch out in three weeks, UCONN has the better odds of winning then.
The Huskies are 15-5 this year, but all of their losses are by four points or less. They cover the spread better than any team in NCAA. They are lead by Sophomore Forward Adama Sanogo who has four double doubles this year. Sanogo rises to the occasion and plays really well in big games. UCONN is the only team to beat #1 Auburn this year, and when they did Sanogo shot 30 points (he averages 15 a game). Against #13 Michigan State he got a double double with 18 points, and against then ranked #24 Seton Hall , Sanogo got another double double with 18 points and 16 rebounds. He averages 8.4 rebounds per game and for a big man (6’9″) he shoots a surprising 52.1% from the field.
UCONN as a team puts up 78.2 points per game, 6.9 blocks per game, and 42.3 rebounds per game (which is 10th out of 358 teams). UCONN are 17th in the NET rankings (the only team where the NET and AP Poll agree perfectly). If this game were a March Madness game Villanova would be a two seed playing at home against UCONN who would be a five seed.