Villanova vs. Virginia prediction and game preview. The Wildcats will try to snap the Cavaliers’ five-game winning streak in an important non-conference matchup in Philadelphia.
Villanova vs. Virginia Game Preview
When: Sunday, Jan. 29 – 1 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia.
TV Broadcast: FOX
Even a victory over No. 12 Virginia likely won’t save Villanova’s No. 1 ranking. The Wildcats lost, 74-72, at Marquette on Tuesday, snapping their five-game winning streak and giving the defending national champions their second defeat of the season. With Gonzaga standing as the nation’s last unbeaten team at 22-0, it seems that the Zags will move to the top of the poll once it is released Monday.
A loss would guarantee Villanova falls from the top spot, and Virginia is certainly capable of leaving Philadelphia victorious. The Cavs have been on a roll since back-to-back losses to Florida State and Pittsburgh, winning their last five after beating No. 14 Notre Dame on Tuesday. London Perrantes is averaging 17.6 points during the streak after netting 22 against the Irish.
Villanova Wins If …
… it solves Virginia’s defensive pressure early. I know, I know – the Wildcats had a 15-point lead over Marquette at halftime and got blitzed in the final 20 minutes. But Sunday’s game will be different if it can get an early lead and use the home crowd to its advantage. Josh Hart will need to score at least 20 points, and Jalen Brunson needs to continue his strong play.
Virginia Wins If …
… its trademark defense pulls through. It seems simple, but Virginia is known for its defense and methodical offense, and it’s not going to start changing now. The Cavaliers need to avoid getting back on their heals with Hart and Brunson pushing the tempo. Perrantes is their most dangerous offensive weapon and likely will need to be hitting his shot consistently in order to stave off Villanova.
Matchup To Watch
Perrantes vs. Hart
No surprise here. The teams two best players will be their most important in a game that will have more offense than either squad wants. Perrantes will do most of his damage from 3-point range – he went 5 for 8 against the Irish – while Hart is more of a slasher. It’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top.
Spread: No line as of post
Over/Under: No line as of post
Villanova vs. Virginia Prediction
This is one of those matchups where whichever team is at home is going to win. That’s the main variable separating the two. Brunson – not Hart – will be the star Sunday, scoring 19 points and dishing out 12 assists as Perrantes struggles from the field.
Villanova vs. Virginia final score prediction: Villanova 77, Virginia 66