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Villanova vs. Syracuse

2/22/09

It is no easy task to be a team in the Big East conference this season. The UConn Huskies and the Pittsburgh Panthers are having phenomenal seasons and beating teams with relative ease this year, except when they go head to head, but every other team in the conference is playing their hearts out night in and night out.

The Syracuse Orangemen are definitely not the team they were earlier in the season and have really struggled as of late by losing six of their last nine games, but they have still been able to stay in the Top 25 rankings.

It has not been easy for Syracuse lately as they have played against some really tough competition over their last nine games. They have played against some of the best teams in the country which are also the best teams in their conference. The Orangemen might not be in UConn and Pittsburgh’s class right now, but they are still a very good team that is a force to be reckoned with.

As for Villanova, they have started to come on strong as of late despite a disappointing loss to West Virginia a couple of games ago.

Although the Wildcats lost a close one to the Huskies back on January 21st (89-83), it kind of lit a fire under them as they went on a six game winning streak immediately after with some impressive wins over both Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

The Orangemen may be a good team right now, but Villanova has the potential to be a great team and will a relatively easy schedule to end the season with only Notre Dame to worry about down the stretch, the Wildcats come make something happen in the NCAA tournament this year.

If their last meeting back on February 7th which ended in a very convincing win for the Wildcats 102-85 was indication enough that Villanova is by far the best team of the two. The is a slight possibility that the Orangemen could give the Wildcats a run for their since they will be playing at home where they have only lost two games this season, but I really don’t see that happen as I think Villanova is turning into one of the best teams in the nation.

The Orangemen do have three players averaging 12 or more points a game in forward Paul Harris, guard Eric Devendorf and of course Jonny Flynn who is leading the team with 17.5 points per game. If there is any hope of Syracuse upsetting the Wildcats it will because they just couldn’t contain these three from lighting up the scoreboard at home.

The Wildcats have a trio of their own that is just as good, if not better than the Orangemen’s big three. Although Villanova guard Cory Fisher is averaging about ten points a game, it is the combination of Scottie Reynolds and Dante Cunningham that have lead the their success this season.

Reynolds and Fisher play fantastic basketball in the backcourt, but it is Dante Cunningham that has turned into the backbone of this team and the team’s go to guy. With 16.5 points per game while shooting over 55% from the floor and ripping down a little over seven rebounds a game Cunningham is just a beast in the paint and will be too much for Syracuse to handle in this match up.


 

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