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12 March 2008

'Cats trounce 'Cuse to reach top-seed Hoyas

posted by NovaFan09
3/12/2008 02:06:00 PM

Villanova Wildcats (20-11, 10-9 BE) vs.
#9 Georgetown Hoyas (25-4, 15-3 BE)

Date: Thursday, March 13, 2008
Location: Madison Square Garden (New York)
Time: 12:00 p.m. EST
Television: ESPN

Georgetown coverage: Van Buren Boys || Hoya Saxa

Following Villanova’s exciting win against Syracuse, the Wildcats return to action Wednesday at noon to face regular-season conference champion Georgetown. The last time these two teams met, the outcome of the game was marred with one of the worst foul calls in recent memory, as Corey Stokes was called for knocking Jonathan Wallace out of bounds with one tenth of a second remaining.

While it is definitely helpful that the ‘Cats have beaten another bubble team in Syracuse, ‘Nova fans have been salivating for the opportunity to face the Hoyas again. If the selection committee can look favorably at Villanova’s misfortune against the Hoyas last meeting, combined with a solid performance (win or lose) on Thursday, I feel that Villanova will have its name called on Selection Sunday.

Georgetown is led by Roy Hibbert, fueled by the stoic and stable guards Jonathan Wallace and Jessie Sapp, and has considerable contributions from freshman Austin Freeman and sophomore forward DaJuan Summers. Through and through, Georgetown is bigger and more experienced at nearly every position.

Keys to the game

Contain Hibbert:
The Hoyas use Roy Hibbert in the same way the San Antonio Spurs employ Tim Duncan: the offense runs through the center position. Hibbert essentially acts as a second point guard for the Hoyas, because nearly every offensive possession starts with Hibbert getting the ball down low and either kicking it out to his guards or creating his own offense. While Jay Wright's in-game planning has been under attack recently, there is no denying that he can stop Hibbert, as 'Nova has harassed Hibbert in several meetings throughout his career.

Limit GU offensive sets:
Under Coach John Thompson III, the Hoyas run a very deliberate offense. In order to beat Georgetown, Villanova must limit the amount of time the Hoyas are in their offensive sets. While the 'Cats had their own trouble on offense last meeting, Villanova no doubt gave the Hoyas problems of their own, and only by a miraculous foul call was Georgetown able to come away victorious.

Protect the ball:
If Villanova is able to limit the Hoyas' offense, the game then comes down to Villanova's offensive capabilities. Limiting turnovers and taking quality shots are just some of the things the 'Nova coaching staff must emphasize throughout the game. Hopefully the hot shooting of Anderson, Reynolds, and Stokes will continue for another day.


Hibbert and Patrick Ewing Jr. make up one of the most formidable forward combinations in all of the Big East, and Villanova's frontcourt will be hard-pressed to limit the damage. As the nation's premiere low post player, Hibbert has an assortment of pump fakes and back-to-the-basket moves. Pena and Cunningham must be careful to not get into foul trouble and play solid defense. Ewing Jr., an explosive player, is more athletic and physically imposing than Cunningham, and is a defensive force as a rebounder and shot blocker. Look for the 'Nova guards to take it to him looking for contact.

Foul shooting: Every point is important, so the 'Cats must shoot better on the line than they did against Syracuse.

Remember to predict the final score and offer your own keys to the game in the comments section below.

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At 5:00 PM, March 12, 2008, Anonymous Michael said...

Many things are going to have to come up big in this upcoming game if we want to win. Control Hibbert and his hook shot and things wont be as bad. Let fisher and pena play more than usual as the same with Cunningham rotating with Drummond. good game today. I didn't like the time though. I had to use one of my teachers computers to check the game-trackerGO CATS!!!

At 7:08 PM, March 12, 2008, Anonymous emily said...

i skipped school to watch the game today, and am so glad i did! Tomorrow i'll sadly have to miss though. Anyways, if we can contain hibbert we have a really good chance in this game. As long as we play well and atleast have a close game, we have a good chance to dance!! :] We need revenge on these guys, and the way the cats played 2nd half today, i think we can do it!

At 7:08 PM, March 12, 2008, Anonymous emily said...

nova 68
gtown 65

At 7:49 PM, March 12, 2008, Anonymous Richie C said...

We just ran a team off the floor that ran gtown off the floor why can' we win this baby.

At 8:11 PM, March 12, 2008, Anonymous joe mamma said...

i like the team effort against the 'cuse today. The team is really starting to play well together...'Nova plays Georgetown well for some reason..
Nova 67
Gtown 64

At 8:21 PM, March 12, 2008, Anonymous Gregg said...

Nova 61
Gtown 59
Stokes gets revenge from the horrible call and drops 7 threes and finishes with a total of 29 points.

Nova was the 8th team out in Joe Lunardi's bracketology. That was before the big win.

At 8:44 PM, March 12, 2008, Anonymous Sean Don said...

Just to pump everyone up, here is a quick flashback when Howard Brown hit the game-winner for Villanova in the 1998 Big East tourney:


Villanova 64
Georgetown 58

At 8:48 PM, March 12, 2008, Anonymous Rob said...

i wont be able to see the game tomorrow, please anyone have a 360 backdoor link or something else so i can watch it later on?! sadly, i have no tivo.

At 11:26 PM, March 12, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha gregg, love it. i just have a strange feeling that stokes is going to arrive in one of these BET games. syracuse game was kinda a coming out party, but i mean really explode. like 30 pt just scoring all over the place... 3s and driving to the hoop.

-imisskylelowry (aka shane clark keep it up!)

At 7:53 AM, March 13, 2008, Anonymous Big D said...

im saying a big game by antonio pena(13), scottie(16), Stokes (27).

Lets goooooooo nova!!

At 7:54 AM, March 13, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

give it to the big feellla upstairs

At 9:07 AM, March 13, 2008, Blogger patrick said...

'Nova got lucky to get some second half momentum against Syracuse. Like the days of Ray and Foye, their strength is the perimeter, and they can lay it on when they have some momentum and the defense on it's heels. Unfortunately, this group of scrubs doesn't compare to those glory days, and G'Town should be able to curb any momentum that 'Nova can muster. The stakes are a little different than they were in February, and the inconsistency, inexperience, and the poor ball control and decision making are certainly not ways to take down the best team in the Big East in their tournament.

G'Town 66
'Nova 62

Just a side thought-
Am I the only person on this planet who thinks that running the offense through Scottie Reynolds is not a good idea? I know he's talented, but teams are limiting his ability to split the defense and drive, he's settling for long shots, and everyone else just sits around and stares at him waiting for something to happen. As we saw in the 'Cuse game, when the team can make extra passes, force the defense to move and adjust then things open up, both for Reynolds and the rest of the squad.

At 2:39 PM, March 13, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Luck in the NIT.


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