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22 March 2008

Villanova faces Siena in NCAA round two

posted by NovaFan09
3/22/2008 10:43:00 AM

12-seed Villanova Wildcats (21-12) vs.
13-seed Siena Saints (23-10)

Date: Sunday, March 23, 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida (St. Pete Times Forum)
Time: 12:10 p.m. EDT
Television: CBS

While Villanova no doubt had its fans' hearts pounding throughout the night Saturday, Siena took a different route in its upset win over Vanderbuilt, routing the Commodores 83-62 in a game that was never close.

Villanova must continue its stellar second-half perimeter defense in order to win this match-up with the MAAC Conference champions on Easter Sunday, as the Saints are an extremely up-tempo team that uses its athleticism to a distinct advantage.

Siena should not be taken lightly. The Saints have faced several NCAA tournament teams this season, beating Stanford at home, Boise State on the road, and demolishing MAAC favorite (and supposed tournament auto-bid) Rider in the conference championship. In addition, the Saints played hotly-contested games with St. Joe's and Patriot League powerhouse Holy Cross.

The Saints match up well with Villanova's style of play, as they present a trio of lethal guards ,starting with leading scorer Edwin Ubiles (17.3 ppg). The sophomore shoots 43 percent from the arc, and scored 11 points against Vanderbuilt. Guard Kenny Hasbrouck, who averages 16 ppg and shoots nearly 40 percent from the three, dumped 30 points on the Commodores and was the game's leading scorer. Sophomore Alex Franklin scores 15 points and grabs 7.9 rebounds per game, a respectable number for a 6-5 forward. Ronald Moore (8.8 ppg) is an extremely quick guard, and he has to be excited to be facing Villanova, a school just an exit off the Blue Route from his home in Conshohocken, Penn. Finally, Tay Fisher, a generously listed 5-9 guard, is the only senior in the Saints' rotation. A tremendous shooter, Fisher converts 45 percent of his threes, going 6-6 from downtown against Vandy and 6-10 against Rider.

Keys to the game

Perimeter defense:
Watching the Clemson game was like witnessing two completely different games for Villanova. In the second half, the team came out extremely energized and basically nullified any perimeter game the Tigers possessed. Against Siena, Dante and Pena must continue to rotate to the top of the key, sealing off any perpendicular driving lanes where guards like to kick the ball out. In addition, rebounding against this smaller team should be emphasized, not taken for granted, limiting second-chance points.

Get hot early: 'Nova Nation can not stomach another second half comeback. Because of its Cinderella status, the longer Siena stays in the game, the more the Saints will believe that they deserve to play with the big guys. Let's stop this team from advancing any further by building a quick lead and holding it for good.

Go down low: Feed the big men on the block. What Villanova lacks in height in terms of a true center and power forward doesn't necessarily translate into a lack of effectiveness. Villanova forwards are more than capable in the post, and if they play well, demanding double teams, it is just an easy kick-out away from finding an open three.

Control Siena's pace: Siena has the athleticism to run with anybody, but sometimes has trouble playing in a half-court game. If Jay Wright can control the speed of the game and not let this turn into a shootout, Siena will have to make every offensive trip count. I believe this is the most important aspect of the game, where a little three-quarters press can make all the difference between going home and continuing to dance.


The 'Cats expelled a lot of effort to beat Clemson, and Reynolds looked physically drained at the end of the game. Jay needs to motivate this team to continue to play "Villanova Basketball."

Reggie Redding:
If Siena finds a way to build a lead, look for Jay Wright to call on Redding to defend the Saints' top shooter at that time.

You may predict the final score and describe your own keys to the game in the comment section below.

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At 12:24 AM, March 23, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

Villanova 81
Siena 72

At 12:38 AM, March 23, 2008, Blogger NovaFan09 said...

nova 76
siena 64

At 12:47 AM, March 23, 2008, Blogger John said...

Villanova 72
Siena 67

At 8:17 AM, March 23, 2008, Blogger David said...

siena - 69

pete what gives i had the closest score last game i think...gimme a look

At 10:25 AM, March 23, 2008, Anonymous Lembo said...

Siena 82
Nova -69

At 11:00 AM, March 23, 2008, Blogger Gregory said...

Nova 82
Siena 80

At 11:39 AM, March 23, 2008, Blogger NovaFan09 said...

dickie v predicted nova to make a run...

I don't know if this is a good thing or a kiss of death

At 11:45 AM, March 23, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

david you will receive your due this week when i do the siena and clemson grades

At 12:16 PM, March 23, 2008, Blogger David said...

idk how i'll do tonight, but for somebody with a terrible predicting history, my bracket has been phenomenal and i got close to that nova-clemson score. i'm just trying to get some fresh looks. thanks pete and good job.
-the voice.

At 1:14 PM, March 23, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

we're playing pretty good so far!

who lost their pants?! the people im with were talking about it but i wasnt watching, and they didnt know who it was!

At 1:17 PM, March 23, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

redding's shorts came down when stokes fouled someone on a drive


At 1:30 PM, March 23, 2008, Anonymous JA said...

I'm reposting my intial prediction from a previous string:

Nova 77
Siena 70

It's halftime right now and we're looking pretty strong, keep it up Nova!!!

At 1:50 PM, March 23, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

we're lucky they're not making their fts

At 2:29 PM, March 23, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

3rd sweet 16 in 4 years for a program like nova, that is unbelievable!

bring on KU... hopefully they sputter like kansas typically does at some point in the tourney.

i want a rematch vs gtown so bad... revenge!!!!!


At 2:40 PM, March 23, 2008, Anonymous Lip said...

WOOOO!!! Sweet 16, I can't believe it! For a team this young, it can only mean great things! Lets keep it rolling.

Survive and advance baby.

At 2:42 PM, March 23, 2008, Blogger Dave said...

Huge win for Nova. Now we're in the Sweet Sixteen, and Jay Wright continues to build this program.


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