Marquette absolutely trounced Seton Hall 78-56 on Wednesday night, finalizing the top half of the bracket in the Big East Tournament. The trio of Matt Carlino (8-12 from deep), Luke Fischer and Duane Wilson nearly outscored the Pirates themselves.
So what does a matchup with the Golden Eagles mean for Villanova tomorrow?
Will the lack of preparation hurt the Eagles?
Marquette has to be back in Madison Square Garden in about 12 hours. That can be both a blessing and a curse. For one thing, they don't need to worry about awkward amounts of down time like on a normal road trip. They also don't have to psych themselves out or overplan for Villanova. They've seen the Wildcats twice, so they'll likely only need a quick refresher on how to guard them, what plays they think will be effective, etc.
However, with the second game being followed so closely, you run the risk of losing fresh legs. Carlino shot 18 times Wednesday night, and while he's no 40-year old Kobe, he might come up a bit short on some shots tomorrow, especially late in the game.
What should Villanova take away from Wednesday's game?
It wasn't a fair fight for Seton Hall, as they were pretty much beaten up and down the court. Marquette's hot outside shooting surely helped, but the Golden Eagles were simply the better team.
Seeing Carlino go off for 26 points, and knowing that Villanova only won by 11 with Carlino off the floor, it's not hard to imagine some potential struggles, especially given how hard it can be to knock off a team three times in a season, let alone a five-week span.
Duane Wilson en fuego
The 8th leading scorer for Marquette had himself a night against the Pirates, recording 14 assists and three steals. He's also shooting 50% in the two contests against Villanova, including 4-7 from the field in the teams' second matchup. If he's dishing out dimes and Carlino is hitting from deep, it could be a recipe for victory against Villanova.
That being said...
This is still the class of the Big East, playing on a lot of rest, and fully ready to avenge last year's second-round tournament loss. I highly doubt that the Wildcats get caught off guard at all, and while Marquette certainly has the ability to keep the game close, Villanova should be able to take care of business and advance.