preGame: Villanova vs. St. John's

(Note: Bud Light will be sponsoring the stretch run here, where we'll be writing a series of posts as part of their 'Here We Go' campaign. Bud Light will be shipping 2 lucky contest winners to Vegas. Details are at the conclusion of this post)

The panic button has officially been hit on the Main Line, as the Villanova Wildcats are fading in a hurry.  After a 16-1 start, Nova has gone a meager 5-7 in their last 12 games.  Excuses can be made, such as the difficulty of the Big East, injuries, coaching gaffes, shooting woes, etc.  Regardless, this team has flaws, but the season is not over by any stretch of the imagination.  If Villanova thinks that, they are going to get routed in their last slew of games, because the competition only gets better from here on out. 

Coming into Philly on Saturday is the St. John's Red Storm, easily the hottest team in the conference and quite possibly, the country.  Head coach Steve Lavin has brought life back into NYC basketball, and they would love nothing more than to take down another ranked team.  It's a matchup of two teams currently headed in complete opposite directions this weekend at the Wells Fargo Center. 

More on the game after the jump...

Media Coverage

Time: 2 PM Eastern Time

Location: Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA

TV: ESPN with Mike Patrick and Len Elmore calling the action

About the Red Storm

This year's version of the Johnnies has done nothing but impress this year in college basketball.  Many thought Steve Lavin was the right man for the job, but most would be lying if they thought St. John's would turn it around this fast.  The season didn't start off great for the Storm though, as they lost to two extremely weak teams, Fordham and St. Bonaventure, in early December.  Since then, all they've done is win 10 Big East games, including victories over West Virginia, Georgetown, Connecticut, and Pittsburgh.  The Storm also took down the top-ranked Duke Blue Devils in late January at Madison Square Garden.  Currently at 10-5 in the conference, St. John's is in great shape to earn a double bye in the upcoming Big East Tournament, where they may be the darkhorse considering how well they have played at MSG.    

Lavin's squad is filled with seasoned veterans who have been through the wars in the Big East.  Senior Dwight Hardy, who may be in contention for conference player of the year, leads the Red Storm in scoring at 17 points per game on 44.8% shooting from the field and 86.2% shooting from the charity stripe.  Complimenting Hardy on the offensive end are seniors Justin Brownlee and D.J. Kennedy, who both average over 10 ppg and 5 rebounds a contest.  Senior Malik Boothe is the creator, as he averages nearly 3 assists a game, and he leads the team in 3 point shooting at 35%.   

Last year at MSG, Villanova came back from a double digit first half deficit to beat St. John's 81-71. 

What to Expect

Desperation needs to be the theme of the day for the Cats.  Tomorrow's game is technically not a must win, but it really is when looking at the overall picture.  First, it's Villanova's last home game of the season.  Second, Nova is coming off a loss at home.  Third, this team needs something, anything to hang their hats on before a brutal stretch next week.  Lastly, the final 2 games of the regular season are at Notre Dame and at Pittsburgh.  

The crowd may be light tomorrow at the Wells Fargo Center, as the students begin their spring break.  I'm still hoping for an electric atmosphere for the better tip time of 2PM with solid weather in the forecast. 

Certainly, St. John's is on a roll and have been giant killers, but in all fairness, they are a completely different team on the road.  With the crowd in Villanova's favor, there should be no excuses for the Cats.  It's time to finally get a big win in what seems like an eternity.   

Pregame Links

-Villanova: Lots to Think About

-Lavin in right place at right time time to give St. John's a boost

-Should Villanova basketball fans be panicking?

-ESPN's Weekend Watch

-St. John's Game Notes 

Bud Light Contest Details:

 

PLAY THE MARCH TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME AND YOU COULD WIN A TRIP FOR TWO TO LAS VEGAS!

LOOK FOR THE CODE INSIDE SPECIALLY-MARKED PACKAGES 12-PACKS OF BUD LIGHT ENTER CODE AT FACEBOOK.COM/BUDLIGHT ----- No Purchase Necessary. Open to U.S. residents (except CA & TX) 21+. For a chance to win a Grand or First Prize, Game Period 1 begins 3PM CST on 2/14 & ends 3PM CDT on 3/18. For a chance to win a First Prize only, Game Period 2 begins 3:00:01PM CDT on 3/18 & ends 3PM CDT on 4/30. To participate, obtain a Code from inside specially-marked packages of Bud Light beer or to request a Code without purchase, visit budlight.com/freecode during a Game Period. Limit one (1) free Code request/day/person or email address. To play, text HOOPS to BEERS (23377) & follow prompts or visit budlight.com/freecode & follow instructions. See Official Rules inside package or at budlight.com/freecode for complete details. Void in CA, TX & where prohibited. Enjoy Responsibly – ©2011 Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Bud Light® Beer, St. Louis, MO

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join VU Hoops

You must be a member of VU Hoops to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at VU Hoops. You should read them.

Join VU Hoops

You must be a member of VU Hoops to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at VU Hoops. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker