The Wildcats responded well after losing to the Xavier Musketeers last Wednesday with a convincing win over the Marquette Golden Eagles on Saturday on the road. Now they'll look to finish the regular season on top of the Big East for the 3rd consecutive year.
They couldn't ask for a much better opponent with the DePaul Blue Demons visiting the Pavilion. While the students will be on spring break, the Wildcats have been virtually unbeatable on campus and DePaul is in the midst of another underwhelming season under first-year coach Dave Leitao.
Here's what to watch for on Tuesday night.
Can Kris Jenkins continue his late-season tear?
Kris Jenkins has been on fire the past four games, averaging 19 points per game and shooting over 40% from 3. He has always had the ability to shoot from the outside, but he's added an effective low-post game as well as a shot-fake-drive move that has kept opponents off balance.
DePaul's frontcourt won't have Jenkins losing sleep, and the Blue Demons are very poor defensively as a team. Expect Jenkins to turn in another stellar performance.
Several Defensive Looks from Villanova
Traditionally, Jay Wright has rolled with a man-to-man defense exclusively in the halfcourt and a 1-2-2 look when looking to pressure teams fullcourt. While this is still their bread and butter, the coaching staff has experimented with a match-up 2-3 zone in the halfcourt and more fullcourt man-to-man defense in 2016.
While the Wildcats struggled at times with these new looks on defense earlier in the season, they have really improved lately. Given DePaul's struggles, expect that to continue as the team looks to refine their defense late in the season.
Celebrating a Big East Championship in the Pavilion
The Wildcats were able to handle the Blue Demons fairly easily when they traveled to Illinois a few weeks ago, so it seems reasonable to expect the game to smooth sailing with the Wildcats being home this time around (struggles with St. John's aside). A win means a third straight outright Big East championship, and it will be fun to celebrate on-campus after the 'Cats clinched at Xavier in 2014 and at the Wells Fargo Center last season. Enjoy!