Kentucky - Villanova Preview
Kentucky (8) Vs. Villanova (9)
Friday, 3/16 @ 9:30
Betting Line From Bookmaker: Villanova -1
The Kentucky Wildcats (21- 11, 9- 7 SEC E) finished third in their division, four games behind the division winning Florida Gators. The Villanova Wildcats (22- 10, 9- 7 Big East) managed to beat two ranked teams this season—Texas and Notre Dame.
Kentucky comes in as an underachiever, not having beaten a ranked opponent this year. The team has lacked energy and does not have enough skill or talent to rely on to vanquish opponents. Forward/center, 6-foot, 11-inch junior Randolph Morris (15.8 PPG, 7.7 RPG) can be dominant in the paint but is not a consistent force inside. He averages 2 blocks per game. Guards Joe Crawford (14.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.4 APG) and Ramel Bradley (13,8 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 3.7 APG) can certainly score but have a tough time stepping up at crunch time.
The Villanova Wildcats sport a fine defense that includes both inside crunching and outside intimidation. Inside scoring is offered by the team’s leading rebounder, Curtis Sumpter (17.3 PPG, 7.2 RPG), while sophomore forward Dante Cunningham (8.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG) is a good second man in. Both guards Scott Reynolds (14.5 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 4.1 APG) and Mike Nardi (12.0 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 3.9 APG) can ably set-up plays or put the ball through the net. Sophomore forward Shane Clark (7.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG) has contributed important points this season.
This is a tough one. The Nova Cats look better than the Tucky Cats. If Kentucky can play consistent ball they stand to win, but look for Villanova’s defense to make a big difference in this game.