Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Preview: BET Quarterfinals v Villanova

Thanks to our regular host, CO_Hoya, for passing me the reins during his ongoing busy time. I'll be doing what I can to fill his estimable shoes. I promise my average post will be shorter and have fewer typos than the Ohio State preview I did last year.

First, if you haven't yet, check out the log5 predictions for the Big East Tournament, as provided by Ken Pomeroy. We've gotten a little more information since that was written, with the completion of three of the four first-day games as of this writing, but it's still a good guideline. Comparatively, the Big East Tournament is the most wide-open of almost all the tournaments, but the Hoyas still have about even odds to reach the final.

The Hoyas' first opponent on the road to the BET finals comes against Villanova, which topped Syracuse, 82-63 this afternoon to survive and advance. This is, of course, a rematch of the first "Jonathan Wallace Free Throws Save the Hoyas" games, aka "Will These Officials Please Stop Whistling Fouls." For more, check out the tempo-free notes for the 55-53 win.

As to what today's game tells us, there were three keys to Villanova's win: rebounding, three point shooting, and free throws. The biggest was probably rebounding-the Wildcats hauled in 44% of their own misses and pulled in 79% of defensive rebounds. Key #2: neither team shot from inside the arc particularly well, but Nova ended up with a 58% eFG as opposed to Cuse's 48.3% because of what happened behind the arc: 11-21, 52.4%, v. 9-24, 37.5%. Third key: free throws. The Wildcats took 22, 13 more, and hit 17, 11 more. The overrated storyline from the game: 0 turnovers by Scottie Reynolds. He normally giveth, but didn't today; no worries, though, as his teammates more than made up for it: the Wildcats normally turn the ball over 19.9% of the time, and turned the ball over on 24.2% of possessions today.

For more from people who actually watched that game (I forgot to record it), check out CardChronicle's liveblog (link from YABB) or the HoyaTalk thread, and I suspect GreyCat will have something up later from the Nova perspective.

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