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#8 Marquette vs. #17 Villinova


February 2009


The Big East conference is really starting to heat up as we head closer and closer to March Madness. UConn may have the number one ranking in the country, but the Marquette Golden Eagles continue to be a big surprise in the best conference in the country and could challenge Jim Calhoun’s Huskies for the conference title.

The Villanova Wildcats on the other hand are riding high coming off their very convincing victory over Syracuse 102-85. The Wildcats are only ranked 17th in the country as of right now and are fifth in the Big East standing behind UConn, Marquette, Louisville and Pittsburgh, but they could make some big waves in the most competitive conference this season by taking down the Golden Eagles at home.

Although Marquette has played brilliantly this season they just suffered a very disappointing loss to unranked South Florida in a low scoring affair 57-56.

The Golden Eagles came into their match up against South Florida on roll winning their last 12 games with some key victories over Big East opponents like Georgetown, Notre Dame, West Virginia and Villanova.

This loss to South Florida turned out to be huge though as it was there first loss in conference play this season and knocked them off the top spot in the Big East. To avoid slipping any further in both the conference standings and country’s rankings; Marquette will look to bounce back with a big win over Villanova who they have already beaten once before this season back on the first of January 79-72.

Unlike the other top teams in the Big East, Marquette’s schedule will be the toughest to finish out the season as they will go up against Big East heavyweights UConn, Louisville, Pittsburgh and Syracuse in their last four games before tournament time in March. Not including their next game against Villanova.

With so many tough teams to face in Marquette’s upcoming schedule, the Golden Eagles will literally control their own fate in the Big East conference. Either they will turn it on and be a legit contender for a Big East title or they will fall flat on their face like so many great teams have done this season.

The Wildcats on the other hand have a good chance of setting themselves up with good position in their conference as they have already faced the toughest teams on their schedule and will be looking to finish the season with no more losses. One more game against Syracuse and their upcoming match up against Marquette will be the last of the tough teams for the Villanova Wildcats.

Coming into this game on a five game win streak and a chip on their shoulder to avenge their loss to the Golden Eagles back on the first of January, the Wildcats will be motivated and ready to go when they defend their home court against Marquette.

Villanova will have everything to gain and Marquette will have everything to lose when these two teams go head to head. The Wildcats will be trying to prove that they can play with the best of them with a win over Marquette. We'll lay the -4.5 here and look for Villanova to improve to 20-4 overall.
 

 

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