On Saturday afternoon, the Villanova Wildcats will complete a three-game road trip when they face off with the Seton Hall Pirates at The Rock. This isn’t a rivalry in the traditional sense, but there is notable recent history and plenty on the line for both clubs.
Villanova has opened up a three-game lead in the Big East and looks to be cruising to a fourth straight league title. The Pirates are still fighting for their NCAA Tournament berth and a win would likely send them onto the right side of the bubble.
Here are three things to watch for on Saturday.
How to contain Carrington
Sterling Gibbs. Isaiah Whitehead. And now Khadeen Carrington. The Pirates always seem to have a guard that gives ‘Nova fits. Carrington just went for a career-high 41 points in the win against Creighton and is feeling good.
Villanova shut him down in the first meeting, but he’s a dynamic guard that can score at all three levels. Will Wright throw Mikal Bridges at him? Donte DiVincenzo? Limiting the Pirates’ lead guard will be crucial for a victory.
Will Delgado feast or famine?
Angel Delgado is a hoss down low. No debating that fact. He’s shooting a high percentage from the field and is among the top rebounders in the country. For the past few years Villanova has neutralized him, but they may not have Darryl Reynolds on Saturday.
Can Eric Paschall, Dylan Painter and others contain him?
Will Kevin Willard complain about the schedule?
Yeah, this one is just for fun. The Pirates coach has made an unfortunate habit of complainging about the league schedule in recent years. He’s in the midst of a homestand consisting of Creighton, Villanova and Xavier - three of the best teams in the conference.
Most coaches see that as an opportunity to seal your NCAA berth — Willard historically has made excuses. We’ll see what happens on Saturday.