Fifth-ranked Villanova Wildcats will head to Omaha on Saturday for a Big East battle against the Creighton Bluejays. The Wildcats have responded nicely since being upset last week, winning each of their last two games and improving to 13-2 on the season. Creighton sits just behind Villanova in the Big East standings with a 11-4 conference record. The winner of this showdown between two of college basketball's strongest teams earns sole possession of 1st place in the Big East standings.
Fixture: Villanova Wildcats vs. Creighton Bluejays - NCAA Men's Basketball
Date & Time: Saturday, February 13th, 2021, 5 PM ET
Venue: CHI Health Center, Omaha, Nebraska
Villanova Wildcats Preview
After dropping two spots in the rankings, the Villanova Wildcats have come back with a vengeance. The Wildcats' offense is averaging 90 points per game since the loss, outlasting Big East opponents to uphold the top spot in the standings.
The Villanova Wildcats have gotten standout performances from each of their stars, seemingly a different one each night. With the talent and quickness they possess, Villanova presents a tough defensive challenge for any opposition. The Creighton Bluejays have weapons of their own, however, and this should be a back-and-forth battle until the end.
Key Player - Collin Gillespie
When the Villanova Wildcats need a win, they turn to their offensive captain Collin Gillespie. Averaging a team-high 5.2 assists per game, Gillespie has become an elite facilitator of this high-powered offense. The senior guard has been shooting with great efficiency thus far, carrying a field goal percentage of 43% entering Saturday's matchup.
Gillespie is also very skilled at drawing contact and getting to the stripe, converting on an incredible 90% of his free-throws thus far. The Villanova Wildcats will hope for Collin Gillespie to take over the offense and lift them to victory on the road against a tough Creighton team.
Villanova Wildcats Predicted Lineup
F Jermaine Samuels, F Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, G Caleb Daniels, G Colin Gillespie, G Justin Moore
Creighton Bluejays Preview
The Creighton Bluejays have put together quite the season, entering Saturday's matchup with a 15-5 overall record. The Bluejays have kept pace with the Villanova Wildcats and now find themselves with an opportunity to overtake the top spot in the Big East.
The Bluejays' defense was outstanding in their last matchup, allowing a season-low 48 points to secure their 11th conference victory. With the Villanova Wildcats coming to town, Creighton Bluejays will need to have another solid defensive showing while creating some offense of their own.
Key Player - Denzel Mahoney
Following back-to-back slow nights of scoring, the Creighton Bluejays will hope to see Denzel Mahoney come back to life on Saturday. Mahoney is averaging a team-high 14.5 points per game, but has been held to just five points in each of his last two outings.
The senior guard will be tasked with guarding Collin Gillespie on the defensive end, which is never an easy assignment. Denzel Mahoney's performance could be the difference in what is looking like a very close game.
Creighton Bluejays Predicted Lineup
F Damien Jefferson, F Christian Bishop, G Denzel Mahoney, G Mitch Ballock, G Marcus Zegarowski
Villanova vs. Creighton Prediction
This could be the game of the week in college basketball, with two very talented teams battling for the top spot in the conference. The Villanova Wildcats present many skillful shooters and a disciplined defensive front. Any time the Wildcats step on the court, they are going to out-hustle their opponent.
Nevertheless, the Creighton Bluejays have a powerful offense of their own and have proven to be a contender for a deep tournament run. The matchup gives the Villanova Wildcats a slight advantage over the Creighton Bluejays on the road, given their outstanding offensive production recently.
Where to watch Villanova vs. Creighton
The game will be broadcast live on FOX.