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Villanova vs. Marquette preview: 3 things to consider

Will there ever be an easy game again?

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The answer is likely no.

If there is a game that may be relatively simple for the 'Cats to win for the rest of the regular season, it may be this one. Marquette sits at 2-7 in the conference, good for ninth in the league. The Golden Eagles are in the midst of a 5-game losing streak, and will travel from Philly to Newark to take on Seton Hall this weekend. Here are some "keys to the game" to ensure that Villanova controls the game and comes out with a W:

This conference takes no prisoners.

We could potentially see this year being a tough one when they opened up their conference slate with a loss to DePaul on New Years' Eve. But just as we saw with Creighton, they've played quite a few tight contests. Even with 11 losses, Marquette has not lost by more than 11 the entire year. This has happened three times: to ranked Wisconsin, ranked Ohio State, and then-ranked Michigan State.

They have one double-digit loss in the Big East (to Seton Hall), and one truly questionable loss to 8-13 Omaha. But they also have losses by 3, 6, 4, 3, and 4. In their last three games alone, they've taken Georgetown and Butler to overtime. These guys will always continue to fight.


Not a single player for the Eagles grabs 16% of their available rebounds on defense. In comparison, Daniel Ochefu ranks 5th in the nation, accruing rebounds on over 29 percent of his chances. Chef gets an offensive rebound at a 14% clip, so he could potentially wreak havoc for Marquette on any missed Wildcat jumpers.

Sizewise, Marquette matches up similarly. Luke Fischer stands 6-11, but their next tallest player is 6'7, and most of the guys that see time at the 2-3 are 6'2-6'6. Villanova is able to rebound better than their size would indicate, so they may have an easier chance at grabbing boards. It all comes down to who works harder down low.

Arch/Booth/Ennis: Under Control

The Golden Eagles thrive on creating turnovers, similar to West Virginia. VCU is the only team the Wildcats have faced that turn their opponents over more often, and it comes more specifically off of steals, in which they are 12th in the country. Villanova's defense puts out similar numbers. The more I've looked at it, the more I've learned that Marquette is very comparable to Villanova in many ways. It'll be key for the guards playing at their own tempo and not allowing Marquette to control the pace.