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Villanova Basketball "Closest to the Pin" Returns! Round 1: Xavier

Clearly there were some first tee jitters, because one out of every five contestants drove the ball out of bounds! BosshoggHazzard stepped up to the tee with confidence, albeit not his typical irrational exuberance, and smacked a long and beautiful drive. The Boss was onto something, and was one of four players finding the green and earning points in this round. The 12 players who picked Xavier to win are directed to report to the BosshogHazzard Golf Skills Academy, where the Boss himself will provide driving instructions. Vegas was more confident than the VUHoops Crowd, picking the Cats by 6.5 vs. the Crowd picking them by only 3.0. Neither were close to the Cat's actual winning margin of 31 points. At $5 per posted prediction, we raised $285 in this game for Villanova Men's Basketball and NovaDave's Wawa Arena at Villanova.

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

RESULTS: With the Cats dominating win over Xavier, 95 - 64, we congratulate four VUHoops readers who scored in this round.

  1. novAbrasion (Nova 92, Xavier 80) awarded 3 points
  2. NovaKG (Nova 80, Xavier 68) awarded 3 points
  3. Novabrasion2 (Nova 91, Xavier 80) awarded 2 point
  4. BossHoggHazzard (Nova 100, Xavier 80) awarded 1 point

VUHOOPS vs. VEGAS: Based on the average predicted scores of the VUHoops Crowd and the posted Vegas line, we would have had a SINGLE-LOSS by taking Xavier getting 6.5 points (LOSS) and not betting the OVER (NO BET).

UPDATE (December 31, Tip-off) ... Recapped below is the way the VUHoops Crowd sees this one:

# Reader Predictions:  57

% Picking Cats to Win: 79%

$ Raised for Nova Men's Basketball (this game): $285

$ Raised for Nova Men's Basketball (cumulative): $285

Wisdom of VUHoops Crowd's Prediction:

o Spread: Villanova -3.0

o Over/Under: 143.0

o Final Score: Nova 73 - Xavier70

Vegas Odds Makers' Prediction:

o Spread: Villanova: -6.5

o Over/Under: 143.0

o Final Score: Nova 75- Xavier 68

The Closest to the Pin Contest is returning for its sixth season, beginning with the upcoming Xavier game on Thursday. Our past Champions are:

  • 2014-15 Season: drpainosaurus
  • 2013-14 Season: PacADAM
  • 2011-12 Season: Dom & Scott0220 (Tie)
  • 2010-11 Season: Regred
  • 2009-10 Season: Andy'06

This year's contest will cover Villanova's nine home conference games.   In addition to the prize awarded to the contestant earning the most points over the nine-game contest, a contribution of $5 will be made to Villanova Men's Basketball for each prediction posted, up to a maximum $600 per game and $5,000 for the Contest.  This contribution will be made by an anonymous donor (known only to Mike); SB Nation has no responsibility for this aspect of the contest.

Contestants predict the final game score and the three coming closest in each game earn points toward the contest grand prize awarded at the end of the season. Points will be awarded in each game to the three contestants with the smallest absolute difference between their predicted scores and the actual scores without regard to whether the contestant correctly picked the winning team.

The contestant coming closest to the final score earns three (3) points, second closest earns two (2) points and third closest earns one (1) point. If the player with the most accurate prediction picks the score exactly (i.e., a "Hole in One"), he or she earns a three (3) additional point bonus (i.e., 6 points in total). There can be more than three contestants earning points in the event of one or more ties. The contestant accumulating the most points over the nine-game contest will win bragging rights as the best prognosticator on VUHoops plus a $50 gift certificate from toward the purchase of Villanova gear.

Now let's begin the process of determining who will rise to become our 2015-16 Champion.

Window Opening (December 30, 11:00am ET): The window is now open for you to post your predicted final score for Thursday's game vs. Xavier. The official contest rules are posted HERE.

The table below provides a head-to-head comparison of the two teams.




10-2 (0-0)

12-0 (0-0)

AP Ranking









Avg. Pts. Scored



Avg. Pts. Allowed



Enter your predicted final score in the comments section in the format: NOVA xx, Xavier yy. Good luck!

The comments will close at 12pm ET on Thursday December 30th when the game tips off!