Thursdays and Fridays are my favorite day on the conference tournament schedule for good reason. It’s an action packed day with games beginning in the morning all the way into the evening. These are big conference games as well. The only notable team that is left waiting around at the moment is the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Gonzaga won the West Coast Conference over BYU on Tuesday. The key for Gonzaga now is to avoid getting rusty.
Gonzaga has been a slow starter in games this season, and the layoff likely isn’t going to help. Every team that gets into the field of 64 is a good team, so it’s not like over ten years ago when it was an automatic loss for a low seed. In other words, the Bulldogs can’t get too comfortable during this break. The Baylor Bears are scheduled to play this afternoon against the Kansas State Wildcats at 2:30 p.m. EST at the T-Mobile Center.
They are the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Tournament, and hoping to avoid an upset against No. 9 Kansas State on Thursday. In the early action, we have a lot of games that should be entertaining contests. Oklahoma State and West Virginia should be one to watch, with tip-off set for 11:30 a.m. EST. Following at noon is Georgetown and Villavona, along with Syracuse and Virginia in the ACC. TheSportsGeek is all over both games, and hopefully a winning effort for us in the Big East.
Villanova is a 16-5 team overall and 11-4 in the Big East. Out of all the power conferences, the Wildcats might be the most ripe No. 1 seed for an upset. The way I see it, Villanova is not the clear-cut best team in the conference. You could argue several others have a decent enough chance at winning the Big East. Injuries to Villanova are what has me most confident in the Wildcats being upset at some point in the conference tournament.
The Hoyas will get the first crack at Villanova on Thursday afternoon. Georgetown finished with an overall record of 10-12 and 7-9 in the Big East. That doesn’t speak very highly of the Hoyas. However, they’ve been playing basketball as of late, and get a wounded Villanova team this afternoon. Head below for our free Georgetown vs. Villanova pick on March 11, 2021.
Georgetown Hoyas vs. Villanova Wildcats Big East Tournament Betting Odds:
Georgetown vs. Villanova Prediction:
The absence of guard Justin Moore looms large for Villanova. They should be fine without him against Georgetown, at least winning straight up, but Moore off the court is likely going to hurt. Note that Villanova were already down guard Collin Gillepsie, as he was injured on March 3 against Creighton in a 72-60 win. Gillespie has averaged 14 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. Meanwhile, Moore scored 12.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3 assists per game.
With both guards absent, Villanova isn’t going to scare most teams. Gillespie is out for the season, while Moore is doubtful to play with a significant ankle injury. At this point, the Wildcats are likely just hoping that Moore will be healthy to play next week when the NCAA Tournament begins. This Villanova team was good with both healthy, though I wouldn’t go as far as saying great. Villanova without them is relegated to a fairly average squad.
The Wildcats netted 75.8 points per game for 69th in the NCAA. They were efficient defensively as well, with 66.9 points against per game. Having said that, Villanova did all of their damage at home. Note that they went a perfect 9-0 at home, but were awful on the road at 2-6. This is a neutral site game, but it’s something to keep in mind. They’re coming off a rather uninspiring 54-52 loss on March 6 to wrap up the regular season schedule.
It was a meaningless game for Villanova, though still a bad loss against a Providence team that couldn’t handle lowly DePaul last night. The Hoyas have been playing solid basketball recently despite their sub .500 record. Georgetown is a winner in three of their last four outings, including wins over DePaul, 68-60, Xavier, 72-66, and most recently Marquette, 68-49. The Hoyas scored 71.7 points per game and conceded 73.4 points per game. Not having to deal with Moore and Gillespie should help out immensely. Too many points to lay on the Wildcats here on a neutral court.