NCAA Tournament Sweet 16: (1) Baylor (24-2) vs (5) Villanova (18-6) prediction and college basketball game preview.
Baylor vs Villanova Broadcast
Date: Saturday, March 27
Game Time: 5:15 pm ET
Venue: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Baylor vs Villanova Game Preview
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Why Villanova Will Win
Can the threes keep on falling?
This hasn’t been the Villanova of the national championship-level years from the outside, but it showed up against North Texas with 15 threes in the easy 84-61 win.
Baylor is going to bring the offense from all angles, sides, and ways, and the Wildcats have to be ready to fire and keep firing from the outside. They never turn the ball over – they lead the nation in fewest turnovers per game – and they can score in bunches, but it’s all about cranking up the outside production.
This is a good defensive team that’s the ability to keep the Bears from getting into a groove – Texas wasn’t Baylor this year, but Villanova beat the Longhorns by four in December – but the O has to hit the three.
Why Baylor Will Win
Villanova is 9-1 when making ten or more threes and 8-5 when it doesn’t. It’s 2-5 when it doesn’t hit at least 32% from the outside. Baylor only allowed ten made threes or more in four games – winning all four – and held 12 teams to under 32% from the outside.
The Bears haven’t quite been the dominant force they were before missing a few weeks in February, but they showed off their firepower against Wisconsin, roaring back 76-63 after getting down early.
They’ve been fantastic from the outside over the last several games – hitting 40% or more of their threes in the last seven games – and they’re making their free throws. As long as they’re not chasing the Wildcats, they should be okay.
What’s Going To Happen
Villanova found its groove again in the NCAA Tournament after a rough end to the Big East season, but Baylor isn’t Winthrop or North Texas.
The Bears will overcome a hot start from the Wildcat three point shooters with a late first half run and a whole lot of big, splashy baskets in the second half.
The 1-seed will pull away late.
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Baylor vs Villanova Prediction, Line
Baylor 74, Villanova 65
Bet on college basketball with BetMGM
Line: Baylor -6.5, o/u: 139
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
Must See Rating: 4