Villanova vs. Kansas: 3 Keys to Victory

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The (5-0) Villanova Wildcats will look to upset #2 (5-0) Kansas Jayhawks. The game will be aired on NBC Sports at 9:30 PM. For you that didn't get the AXS channel yesterday, here are some highlights of the win. The Wildcats are coming off a rather simple victory over the USC Trojans 94-79. Villanova set a record for the most points scored in the Battle for Atlantis Tournament. They had 5 players score in double digits, and all 10 players that saw the floor, scored. Kansas, on the other hand, had a much tougher time putting away Wake Forest, but eventually pulled it out 87-78.

Here are some things to watch for.

Andrew Wiggins

Their has been multiple reports that projected #1 pick in next years NBA Draft, Andrew Wiggins, is under the weather. He hasn't left his hotel room since the Jayhawks beat Wake Forest. Bill Self expects him to play, but you have to figure he will not be at full strength. In that victory over Wake, The '6',8''Freshman standout logged 25 minutes, shooting 6-13 from the field for 17 points and 3 rebounds. Although he is young, he is a very smart player. Wiggins has been on the floor for 258 possessions and has committed just four turnovers. Expect Villanova to use multiple players throughout the game to guard Wiggins just like the way they guarded '6,8'' Jerelle Benimon of Towson. James Bell, Daniel Ochefu, and JayVaughn Pinkston all had an opportunity to defend Benimon, and did pretty well limiting him to only 11 points. Wiggins, however, is obviously a much tougher player to guard than Benimon. The 'cats will have their hands full with Wiggins.

The Dylan Ennis Factor

Dylan Ennis finally made his Villanova Wildcat's debut yesterday against USC. Ennis hasn't played an organized game of basketball since March 20th of 2012. Jay Wright didn't hesitate to put him in, as Ennis came in around the 16 minute mark, and made an impact right away. He knocked down his first 2 shots as a wildcat (both 3's) and he ran the offense very well. He was also able to use his quickness to get out on the fast break , something this team has been missing. Ennis finished the day with 14 points and 3 dimes in 23 minutes of action.

"He's got an intangible that is really valuable and it's energy," noted Wright. "As a student, teammate and person Dylan's got great energy. I was more concerned that he would be so (excited) to be playing. I thought he really did a great job, especially in the second half. He made some great passes and some good defensive plays.

"It was really nice to have him back."

Outside shooting

The Wildcats have been very inconsistent this year when it comes to shooting the 3 ball. Yesterday vs USC, they shot 39% from 3, which was their highest percentage of the season. The Demon Deacons shot 43% yesterday , but on average, teams are shooting 32% against Kansas from 3. The Wildcats are not shy about shooting the ball from deep. They average 24 3 pointers a game, and shoot it at just 29%, which is 309th in the country. They might have a tough time down low as Kansas is very long and athletic. JayVaughn Pinkston wasn't able to get much going vs a big interior in USC. He often wasn't able to back his man down, but he found the open man on the perimeter for a good shot. He finished with 3 assists. With that being said, I don't think Villanova shouldn't get away from feeding their best player in the post because he can make plays for others from that spot. Villanova will need to shoot the ball at a high percentage if they want to take down the #2 in the country.


So much of me wants to take Villanova, but I think Kansas just presents to much of a challenge. The 'Cats hang tough, but fall to Kansas 81-73

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