Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, February 6, 2015 at 1:00 PM
It was one of the oddest results of the college basketball season to date. It’s not like upsets don’t happen. This is college basketball…they happen all the time! But, the handful of teams on the serious National Championship radar don’t lose by 20 points very often as favorites. That’s exactly what occurred on January 19 when Villanova (-4) was blown out 74-54 by Georgetown.
The rematch is Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET, in a game you can watch live on FOX. You know that Villanova will be seeking revenge. Can Georgetown do anything about it? Outside of that shocker, the Hoyas haven’t exactly been on fire in Big East play. They just lost to Providence (for the second time!), and lost at home to Xavier the prior time they played a good team.
This one could have blowout written all over it, and could send Georgetown hurtling WAY out of the AP rankings with their second loss of the week. Let’s see what JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats have to say about one of many high profile matchups you’ll be watching on TV Saturday…
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency
Georgetown: 109.4 per 100 possessions (#36 in the nation)
Villanova: 115.8 per 100 possessions (#10 in the nation)
Villanova’s better on this side of the floor by a good bit, making that 74-54 result even more surprising. Villanova really has to have an off-game to score so few points. Georgetown is better than they used to be on this side of the floor.
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency
Georgetown: 93.0 per 100 possessions (#33 in the nation)
Villanova: 90.8 per 100 possessions (#15 in the nation)
Very similar national rankings here to what we just saw above. Balance! Interesting that the “average” rankings per team log in just below their national poll rankings. It’s tough to be good on both sides of the ball…so it is possible for a team in the 10-15 range in these categories to rank better than that in composite (ahead of teams who are say…#5 on offense but #60 on defense). But, we have to say that Georgetown really isn’t playing much like a team in the top 35 range. They are 2-6 ATS their last eight outside of that Villanova game where everything went right. To this point, clear edge to the revenge-minded Wildcats.
Pace should not be an issue in this one. Both teams are fractionally near the national average. In the not-too-distant past, Georgetown was really slow and Villanova was really fast. These teams have settled in the middle. Both will be playing in their comfort zones on Saturday. That’s perhaps a strike against the dog because the revenge-minded favorite won’t be dealing with any pace issues. Come Dance time…it’s probably a good sign that Villanova can speed up slow down if needed depending on their opponent.
Against the Spread
Villanova: 14-7 (8-13 to the Under)
Georgetown has been slumping vs. market expectations in recent action. Villanova has been underrated all season. And, it’s worth noting that the market misread applies to Over/Unders too. Villanova is playing slower, and better defensively than the market has noticed. Betting a “Villanova and Under” combination would have gone 27-15 to far this season. Note that Georgetown would be 7-10 ATS if you took out the Villanova game, while the Wildcats would move to 14-6 ATS. Again, that was quite the outlier!
JIM HURLEY will have a huge Saturday card to look at for his clients. It’s too early at the moment to tell if Georgetown/Villanova will be part of the mix. Also on the Saturday schedule…
#9 Louisville at #3 Virginia
#10 Notre Dame at #4 Duke
#19 Baylor at #15 Iowa State
We’ll be talking about #1 Kentucky visiting Florida here in the NOTEBOOK tomorrow because that’s the prime time game on ESPN, and we haven’t had much of a chance to check in on the current favorites to win the Dance yet this season. You can bet the full NETWORK team will be covering every angle for every matchup!
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Here’s what’s ahead in the NOTEBOOK after that Saturday night rivalry game in Gainesville…
Saturday: College Basketball…Kentucky at Florida in the SEC
Sunday: NBA Big Game Preview…Clippers/Thunder, Hawks/Grizz, or Spurs/Raptors
Monday: College Basketball Preview…Duke at Florida State in the ACC
Tuesday: College Basketball Preview…New Mexico at Colorado State in the M-West
Wednesday: College Basketball Preview…Villanova at Providence in the Big East
Thursday: College Basketball Preview…Stanford at Utah in the Big 12
The ROAD TO MARCH MADNESS is only going to get more crowded and intense in the coming days. Be sure you’re with us every day for important handicapping insights. Who else in the major media covers college hoops from a handicapping perspective? Then, DUNK FOR DOLLARS after an alley-oop from JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!
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