There are no gimmes in the Big East as the #9 University of Connecticut (14-2) have found out with losses to Notre Dame and Pitt and they will face another stiff test as they face #7 Villanova (16-1) in a Martin Luther King day matinee at home.
UConn has struggled through the early part of the Big East regular season with a 3-2 record. Throughout the season, guard Kemba Walker has carried the team, averaging 25.6 points per game, including six games over 30 points, the latest 31, against DePaul. The team has eight freshmen and sophomores on their team and sophomore forward-center Alex Oriakhi (10.9 ppg) and freshmen guard Shabazz Napier (8.9 ppg).
Villanova, on the other hand, is undefeated in the Big East (4-0) and have won 11 straight games. The Wildcats are a young team too but they also feature three senior starters – guard Corey Fisher (15.4 ppg), guard Corey Stokes (16.5 ppg) and forward Antonio Pena (9.9 ppg, 7.2 rebound per game). Sophomore guard Maalik Wayns is the third guard in the Villanova 3-guard offense and averages 13.8 points per game.
Connecticut is undefeated at home while Villanova has lost just one game, at a neutral site, so this game should be a competitive close game against two balanced teams.
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