College Basketball Game of the Week: Villanova vs. Creighton
This Saturday, the top spot in the Big East will be up for grabs as No. 19 Creighton will host No. 5 Villanova in Omaha.
With both teams on two game win streaks, this battle between two powerhouses in the conference will almost certainly be a very competitive game.
Looking at Villanova, the Wildcats are coming into Saturday's matchup after a blowout win against Marquette on Wednesday night. Although the Golden Eagles were able to keep within striking distance for the early part of the first half, after Jeremiah Robinson-Earl hit three 3-pointers in a row, the game was out of reach.
Robinson-Earl scored a season-high 27 points while shooting 10 for 11 from the field and being a perfect 5 for 5 from three-point range.
Guard Collin Gillespie also had an outstanding night, scoring 16 points and dishing out 11 assists. The 96-64 win should give confidence to this team who looks like they are back on track to being seen as one of the top teams in the nation.
The Blue Jays are also coming off a convincing win, as they took down Georgetown 63-48 in the nation's capital. In what was a revenge win for Creighton, Christian Bishop led the way with 17 points in a game that featured some of the worst shooting performances in Georgetown’s history.
With five of Creighton’s players averaging over ten points per game, there is no doubt that this team can score at a high clip, and that is something they are going to have to do to compete against this Villanova team.
Against Villanova, the Blue Jays will certainly look to capitalize off of the play of Mitch Ballock, Denzel Mahoney and Damien Jefferson who have scored almost half of the team’s points in the last five games.
It will take more than just scoring to slow down this Villanova team, though. Creighton will have to find a way to contain not only Robinson-Earl, but also stop the amazing facilitation that Gillespie provides for the Wildcats.
This will be Villanova’s second meeting with a ranked team so far this year. The last one came back in early December, when the Wildcats beat Texas 68-64.
After dealing with their coach contracting COVID-19 a couple of weeks ago, it will be interesting to see how Villanova will fare against the other top team in their conference and a top team in the country.
The keys for Creighton in this game will be locking down Villanova’s top players such as Robinson-Earl and Gillespie. If the Blue Jays can limit their production while also taking advantage of the weaknesses in Villanova’s defense, they will be in good shape.
The keys for Villanova will likely include another stellar performance from Robinson-Earl. Also, it will need to tighten up its defense which can be too aggressive at times, leading to easy scores that the Wildcats will not want to give up in an important game like this one.
Overall, this matchup will be a close and competitive one. However, when it comes down to it, Villanova will further prove that they are worthy of being in the conversation of championship contenders like Gonzaga and Baylor.
Look for this one to be a game that will come down to who can defend better.
Charlie Murray is a freshman majoring in sports journalism, To contact him email email@example.com.
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