NCAA Tournament First Round: (5) Villanova (16-6) vs (12) Winthrop (23-1) prediction and college basketball game preview.
Villanova vs Winthrop Broadcast
Date: Friday, March 19
Game Time: 9:57 pm ET
Venue: Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Indianapolis, IN
Villanova vs Winthrop Game Preview
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Why Winthrop Will Win
UNC Asheville 57, Winthrop 55.
That’s it. That’s the only loss this year for a team that hasn’t played any big name programs and weren’t challenged all that often, but does a whole lot of things to give Villanova problems.
The Eagles attack the glass relentlessly, coming up with double-digit offensive boards getting off the bus and creating a whole lot of second chance opportunities for an offense that scores 80 on a regular basis.
They’re active on the inside, okay from three, and fantastic on the move after forcing a whole lot of turnovers.
Villanova has been off. It lost three of its last four games, it’s not hitting the threes like it normally does, and it’s nowhere near good enough on the boards.
Why Villanova Will Win
Again – to be totally snobby – there’s a difference between dealing with Longwood, High Point and Presbyterian and Texas, UConn and Creighton.
Winthrop might have beaten UNC Greensboro – a 13 seed playing Florida State – but it didn’t deal with a who’s who of talented teams. As good as it was, it have a hard time not turning the ball over, there’s not enough of an inside presence or blocks, and this isn’t a good shooting team on the fee throw line.
Villanova needs the threes to start dropping, but it just has to relax, keep the ball moving, and get the easy shot. Winthrop might turn the ball over a ton, but Villanova doesn’t.
The Wildcats will get enough transition points to keep on pushing ahead, but …
What’s Going To Happen
Be very, very afraid.
This Winthrop team has the defensive mettle and the toughness on the glass to be a massive problem if the Villanova threes aren’t falling.
If it goes 2-for-27 from the outside like it did against Butler, it will lose.
If the energy isn’t there – note the the 10:00 pm starting time – from jump, Winthrop will take over right away.
It’ll be a way too close fight for a while, but the Wildcats will start to pull away by getting to the free throw line. For all of Villanova’s issues, it doesn’t commit a ton of fouls and it hits its free throws. Winthrop gets hit with a ton of fouls, and it’s very, very inconsistent on the free throw line.
This will be worth staying up for.
Villanova vs Winthrop Prediction, Line
Villanova 72, Winthrop 65
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Line: Villanova -6.5, o/u: 143
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 3
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