Villanova is looking to improve their season resume as they travel to Cincinnati on Tuesday for a BIG EAST game in the only regular season matchup between the two schools..
Riding a two-game win streak with defeats of DePaul and South Florida, the Wildcats (15-9, 6-5) look to tame the Bearcats (18-6, 6-5) who are riding the a similar streak in the opposite direction.
Losers of their last two and 3 of 5, Mick Cronin's squad has dropped out of the Top 25 and are looking to return to their winning ways with Villanova in their sights.
Sean Kilpatrick leads the way for Cincy. The 6'4" junior guard is averaging 18.2 points and 5.3 rebounds for the 7th-best rebounding team in the country (the Bearcats have 5 players averaging over 4.5 boards per game). The opportunities for rebounds on both sides will be plentiful as the Bearcats are 258th in Field Goal% and Villanova is 253rd in the nation.
In order for Villanova to come out of Fifth-Third Arena a victor, Jay Wright's squad will need to employ similar tactics that Pittsburgh used in their recent victory over Cincy; Play Defense, Get to the Line, Rebound.
'Nova's big men combo of Mouphtaou Yarou and Daniel Ochefu will be key in the game as they'll need to establish an inside presence to collect missed shots from the outside and put back the easy buckets.
It is unknown if Cincy will be able to turn to Justin Jackson. The 6'8" forward injured his leg in the Bearcats' game against Pitt and only played 7 minutes. The big man grabs nearly 6 boards for Cincy each game and adds 4 points.
Both Cats teams have a ton to play for in this mid-season BIG EAST game. The Bearcats are looking toward this game as one to right the ship and get back on course. Villanova is looking at an opportunity to pounce on a Top-35 RPI conference opponent on the road.
Tipoff is set for 8p ET. The game will be available on espn3.com.