We’re down to 32 teams left in the NCAA Tournament after two great days of basketball. And the No. 2 Villanova Wildcats will take on the No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes in a matchup of teams that easily handled their first round matchups.
No. 2 Villanova: 27-7 (16-4):
First round result: Won 80-60 over No. 15 Delaware
KenPom rating: 11 Overall, 9 Offense, 29 Defense
NET ranking: 8 (8-6 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Collin Gillespie 15.9 ppg
Key stat: Four guys averaging double digits
Villanova looked dominant in their opening win against Delaware. After a slow start, the Wildcats went on a 23-2 run midway through the game to get their lead up to 18 and never looked back.
Collin Gillespie is one of the best point guards in the country. He has experience and is a scorer and floor general. With him healthy, the Wildcats have a legitimate chance at making a run in the NCAA Tournament.
Watch for the Wildcats to score a ton in this one. The Buckeyes have struggled defensively this season.
No. 7 Ohio State: 20-11 (12-8):
First round result: Won 54-41 over No. 10 Loyola Chicago
KenPom rating: 29 Overall, 12 Offense, 105 Defense
NET ranking: 26, (6-5 Vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: EJ Liddell 19.6 ppg
Key stat: The Buckeyes were the ninth instance in tournament history of a No. 2 seed losing to a No. 15 seed when they were upset by Oral Roberts last season.
While Loyola Chicago could not hit a shot all game, Ohio State was very smart with their possessions and controlled the game. Every run Loyola Chicago had, Ohio State responded with one of their own.
E.J. Liddell is one of the best players in the country. The Buckeyes need him scoring if they want to make an NCAA Tournament run.
Watch for E.J. Liddell in the paint against Eric Dixon. That’s a great matchup.
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Point spread: Villanova -5
Point total: 132
Moneyline: Villanova -210, Ohio State +175
Against The Spread Pick: Villanova -5
Point total pick: Under 132
Pick to Win: Villanova -210
I’m confident in both Villanova -5 and under 132 for the total. Ohio State showed extremely low scoring in their first round matchup with Loyola Chicago. Villanova also looked like a team who could make a deep run in this tournament. I expect the Wildcats to win this handily.
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