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Villanova vs. Georgetown: Three Things to Watch For

This Saturday, the Wildcats will close out the regular season against Georgetown.

NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at Georgetown Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Villanova Wildcats (26-4, 13-4 Big East) will wrap up the regular season with one last game at the Wells Fargo Center against their rivals, the Georgetown Hoyas (15-13, 5-12 Big East).

The Hoyas enter Saturday’s contest with a three-game losing streak, one that was topped off by a tough overtime loss to the Marquette Golden Eagles.

As for the Wildcats, they return home after a grueling five-game stretch, where four of those were played on the road.

Villanova won the previous meeting against Georgetown back on Jan. 17. It was the first time the Hoyas’ head coach Patrick Ewing faced off against the Wildcats since his playing days at Georgetown came to an end.

Here are three things to watch for in this Saturday’s game, which will tip-off at 5 p.m. ET:


KenPom’s No. 1-ranked Offense, but it’s all about the Defense

The Wildcats will have the opportunity to catch their breaths with a game against Georgetown at home. While they enjoyed an absolutely dominating performance against the Hoyas in their previous meeting--shooting 60 percent on the floor and 51.5 percent from deep--they were also excellent on the defensive end. Georgetown is a turnover-prone team, one that doesn’t take great care of the ball. It loses the ball 15.5 times per game, good for 336th in the nation. (For reference, ‘Nova forced 17 turnovers when they last played each other.) Georgetown couldn’t get into a groove offensively on Villanova either, shooting below 40 percent overall and just 26.7 percent from beyond the arc. It will likely be a similar lockdown performance for the ‘Cats, who should keep the Hoyas quiet. To Georgetown’s credit, it has diversified a bit from the frontcourt-heavy approach that his dominated the season, with the recent rise of freshman Jamorko Pickett--who has scored in double figures in five of the last seven games, with a couple of 20-point games sprinkled in-between. Keep an eye out for how the Wildcats respond to his recent solid play and how they will deal with...

The One-Two Punch Down Low

Jessie Govan and Marcus Derrickson provide one of the top frontcourt duos in the conference. Since Ewing took over the head coaching gig, he has done a really great job of developing them and making the team revolve around them. Standing 6-foot-11, 270 pounds--with a 7-foot-3 wingspan--Govan is a double-double machine that might just be the first Hoya to hear his name called in the NBA Draft since Otto Porter Jr. Having a former big man great as a head coach has certainly helped him unlock his potential. Govan is averaging a team-high 17.1 points and 10.1 rebounds this season. He’s shown an improved ability to pass out of the post and even occasionally make a three-pointer. As for Derrickson, he is right behind him with 15.7 points per game and 8.1 rebounds per game. Derrickson can stretch the floor out or play big inside. In the loss to Villanova, the Wildcats did a great job of holding them to a combined 20 points off 7-for-20 shooting. On the bright side, Omari Spellman seems to have gotten it covered again. He did a great job of locking down Delgado in the previous game against Seton Hall and has shown that he’s capable of doing well against other dominant bigs.

413

If the Wildcats win against the Hoyas--which, according to KenPom, they’re a 96 percent favorite--that will be Jay Wright’s 413th win as Villanova head coach. 413 isn’t exactly a nice round number, but it would tie Al Severance for the most wins all-time in program history for a head coach. Severance compiled a 413-201 record through 25 seasons with the Wildcats. This would be another important milestone for Wright, who is in his 17th season on the Main Line. As Villanova’s head coach, he has a record of 412-165 going into Saturday.