NCAA BK

Sun, Feb 16, 2014 - 5:07 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Villanova-Creighton Preview

Share This Story

   
 

Four weeks ago, Villanova was embarrassed on its own court by Big East newcomer Creighton. It now gets a shot at returning the favor.

With Big East supremacy on the line, the No. 6 Wildcats make their first trip to Omaha on Sunday looking to avenge a 28-point loss to the 18th-ranked Bluejays.

"It was a great learning experience for us to know that we had to get a lot better defensively," Villanova coach Jay Wright told the school's official website.

"And we had to get better offensively, believe it or not. We had to find ways on nights when we weren't making shots, to score. I think it helped us to develop our inside game and we've worked a lot on our transition defense. I am still not convinced it's good enough yet, but this is going to be a test."

It likely won't be good enough if the Wildcats (22-2, 10-1) have to watch Creighton (20-4, 10-2) light it up from long range again.

Led by forward Ethan Wragge's career-high 27 points and nine 3-pointers, the Bluejays went 21 of 35 from beyond the arc in the 96-68 win in Philadelphia on Jan. 20. All-American Doug McDermott added 23 points and Jahenns Manigat scored a career-high 19.

James Bell led Villanova with 19 points.

Since the first meeting, the Wildcats have won six straight with the last four coming by an average of 20.2 points with a 51.8 percent shooting mark. Wednesday's 87-62 win at DePaul was the final tune-up, and Villanova had an impressive shooting night of its own, connecting on 55.1 percent from the floor and 15 of 26 from 3-point range.

"People are talking about the Creighton game. It's natural," Wright said. "When I'm watching the tape of our DePaul game, they are talking about the Creighton game during the DePaul (telecast). I was just really proud of our guys' ability to get to the next game.

"This one for (the players) is easy - I know they're going to concentrate on this one. But for a team to go in and concentrate like they did against DePaul is impressive to me."

Darrun Hilliard scored a season-high 22 points and Bell added 16.

Creighton's most recent test had a little more excitement. McDermott hit a 3 with under a minute remaining to give the Bluejays a one-point lead Thursday in a 68-63 win at Butler that followed a loss at St. John's on Sunday.

"It's really good for us because we had to grind one out," said coach Greg McDermott, Doug's father, who won his 100th game at the school. "We had a chance at St. John's and we didn't get it done. Tonight, Doug hit the 3 that he missed the other night and we made the free throws that we missed the other night."

After two close road games, they now return to a friendlier environment. The Bluejays are 13-0 at home, winning those games by an average of 20.0 points. The Wildcats, meanwhile, are 8-1 in true road games with their only loss coming at unbeaten Syracuse.

Villanova is 2-1 against ranked opponents this season, while Creighton's only ranked opponent so far has been the Wildcats. Prior to that win, the Bluejays had dropped their last 11 against teams in the Top 25.

Villanova leads the all-time series 3-1 will all four meetings taking place in Philadelphia.

Tagged: DePaul, Creighton, Villanova, Doug McDermott

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NCAA BK Videos

Georgetown, Syracuse to renew CBK rivalry Posted: Jun 10, 2014
Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III on the renewal of the rivalry betw...

Cuonzo Martin new head coach at Cal Posted: Apr 16, 2014
Cuonzo Martin is introduced as Cal's new head coach.

UConn tops Notre Dame in women's final Posted: Apr 09, 2014
Hear from Geno Auriemma and his players after their National Championship victor...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..