The 10th-ranked Villanova Wildcats will host the UConn Huskies for another Big East matchup and a chance to return to their winning ways. The Wildcats hope to bounce back from their upset loss to the Creighton Bluejays as they enjoy a home game on Saturday.
UConn is staying in the mix, entering this matchup in 4th place of the conference standings. Villanova will need a strong performance to keep from falling in the college basketball rankings once again.
Fixture: UConn Huskies vs. Villanova Wildcats - NCAA Men's Basketball
Date & Time: Saturday, February 20th, 2021, 1 PM ET
Venue: William B. Finneran Pavilion, Villanova, Pennsylvania
Villanova Wildcats Preview
The Villanova Wildcats have fallen all the way from 3rd to 10th in the AP Top 25, losing to Big Ten opponents in back-to-back weeks. The Wildcats seem to have lost their rhythm offensively, but still have time before the national tournament begins.
Head coach Jay Wright, currently in his 20th season with Villanova, has embedded a winning culture into his program. Behind their outstanding coaching and senior leadership, the Villanova Wildcats should return to the court on Saturday with a new energy.
Key Player - Collin Gillespie
When the stakes are high, the Villanova Wildcats turn to their captain Collin Gillespie. Now in his senior season, Gillespie averages 14.1 points and a team-high 5.1 assists per game.
In Villanova's most recent losses, Gillespie has averaged just 6 points on 21% shooting. With the Villanova Wildcats in need of a win, the veteran point guard will be called upon to lead the offense past the UConn Huskies.
Villanova Wildcats Predicted Lineup
F Jermaine Samuels, F Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, G Caleb Daniels, G Colin Gillespie, G Justin Moore
UConn Huskies Preview
Following two straight wins over Big East opponents, the UConn Huskies will be heading to the Villanova Wildcats' home court with some confidence. The Huskies' offense averaged 77 points in their last two games, lifting them to 7-5 against conference opponents.
While momentum carries quite a bit of weight, the UConn Huskies will need a strong gameplan on both ends of the floor to compete with Villanova. If the Huskies' shooters can convert with the same consistency, they could hand the Wildcats their 3rd Big East loss.
Key Player - Tyrese Martin
Star guard Tyrese Martin will play a huge role for the UConn Huskies on both ends of the floor on Saturday. The 6'6" junior is leading the Huskies with 12.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
Martin has shown great skill on the defensive end as well, tallying 19 steals and 5 blocks thus far. With the talented Villanova Wildcats awaiting, Tyrese Martin will be put to the test all afternoon.
UConn Huskies Predicted Lineup
F Adama Sanogo, F Isaiah Whaley, G Tyrese Martin, G Brendan Adams, G R.J. Cole
Villanova vs. UConn Prediction
While these teams have been trending in different directions recently, the raw talent of the Villanova Wildcats cannot be underestimated. The veteran leadership of Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels will likely play a vital role for the Wildcats on Saturday.
The UConn Huskies have found their stroke with great offense recently, but they will need an answer from the defensive end. The advantage goes to the Villanova Wildcats at home as they defend the top spot in the Big East.
Where to watch Villanova vs. UConn
The game will be broadcast live on FOX.