Ohio State vs Villanova Prediction, Game Preview NCAA Tournament Second Round

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State vs Villanova Prediction, Game Preview NCAA Tournament Second Round

College Football Predictions

Ohio State vs Villanova Prediction, Game Preview NCAA Tournament Second Round

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Ohio State vs Villanova prediction: NCAA Tournament Second Round pick and college basketball game preview.


Ohio State vs Villanova Game Preview, How To Watch

Date: Sunday, March 20
Game Time: 2:40 pm
Venue: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
How To Watch: CBS
Records: Ohio State (7 seed, 20-11)
Villanova (2 seed, 27-7)
Region: South

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Why Ohio State Will Win

Oh, right. We’re just supposed to assume now that Ohio State is going to start being good at college basketball again just because it beat a plucky – but fatally flawed – Loyola team 54-41?

Yeah. Maybe.

It sure as shoot helped to get back 6-8 powerhouses Zed Key and Kyle Young after both missed a few weeks with injuries.

The Buckeyes had been struggling on the boards over the last several games, but they cleaned up against the Ramblers with Key and Young combining for 14 of the 41 rebounds. That seemed to fee up everything for everyone else.

It also helped clean things up when the Buckeyes went 1-of-15 from three.

Villanova is amazing in a whole lot of ways, but it’s just okay on the glass and there isn’t enough of an inside presence to make too much of a defensive difference.

However …

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Why Villanova Will Win

First of all, Villanova isn’t Loyola offensively.

The Ramblers are all about the defense, efficiency, and setting things up so much that sometimes they let the idea of perfection get in the way of the possible.

They could score, but they weren’t going to do it in bunches like Villanova can.

And Loyola still was able to make eight three pointers.

Villanova doesn’t live on the three, but it certainly helps the cause when the team makes over nine per game and connect on 36% from the outside. They destroyed Delaware 80-60 by hitting 46% of their attempts – 13 threes – and made 11-of-12 free throws.

And that’s the second part of this. Villanova is No. 1 in America in free throw shooting. But Ohio State is great on the line, too. No, the problem is the D from three – the Buckeyes struggle against the teams that can bomb away from the outside, and there aren’t enough takeaways to come up with consistent defensive stops.

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Ohio State vs Villanova: What’s Going To Happen

It’s not just that Ohio State got back a few key pieces and played great at times against Loyola. It’s that it seems to have one massive chip on its shoulder.

Not to get too psychoanalytical about this, but the NCAA Tournament is always about nerves. If you watched over the last few days, you could easily tell the players and teams that simply weren’t their normal selves.

What helps get past that? An angry attitude, and after everyone seemed to pick Loyola, Ohio State got awfully surly. Now the Buckeyes have the personnel, the talent, and the chip on its shoulder to keep this going.

Villanova will have its moments from three, but get ready for one of the more physical games yet from the Buckeyes.

The Wildcats will score from the outside, but there won’t be enough happening inside.

NCAA Tournament Schedule, Predictions, Game Previews

Ohio State vs Villanova Prediction, Lines

Ohio State 66, Villanova 65
Line: Villanova -5.5, o/u: 132
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2

Ohio State vs Villanova Must See Rating: 4

5: Derek Carr to Davante Adams
1: The Friday early session NCAA Tournament games

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