2014 NCAA Tournament Preview: No. 2 Villanova vs No. 15 Milwaukee
The “second round”, or round of 64, begins on March 20. No. 2 seed Villanova will take on No. 15 seed Milwaukee in the East Region. The Panthers reached the 2014 NCAA Tournament by winning the Horizon League postseason tournament, and are their conference’s only representative. On the other hand, Villanova is one of four Big East teams in the big dance.
What to Watch For
With Villanova being bounced early on in the Big East tournament, it will be interesting to see how they come out. They could play flat, but an early conference tourney exit usually motivates teams. Look for Villanova’s offense to bring it to Milwaukee from the tip.
For the Wildcats, watch the play of guards James Bell and Darrun Hilliard II. This duo leads the team’s scoring with 14.5 and 14.3 points, respectively. Additionally, Bell pulls down almost seven rebounds per game.
Defensively, the Panthers gave up 70.5 points per game against a rather weak schedule. Villanova is a strong team and they can easily hit the 70-point plateau. There are not any really great match-ups in this game, and it seems like Villanova will control both possession and the scoreboard easily throughout the game
This game should be a blowout for Villanova. The Big East is clearly the better conference and Milwaukee’s conference play this season did very little to prepare them. Additionally, Milwaukee went a mediocre 7-9 in Horizon league play.
Villanova will come out firing from the beginning. Their physical play and versatile offense should find success in the paint and from beyond the arc. There is little chance this matchup ends in an upset, and Villanova’s high-flying offense will overwhelm the Panthers defense as they send them home. This game will be over as soon as it begins.
Villanova 78, Milwaukee 40.
Add Phil Naegely to your Google Circles and follow him on Twitter @PNaegelyRS.