Nova faces Xavier in Big East semis
Xavier (18-14, 10-9) vs. Villanova (23-9, 14-5)
Big East Conference Tourney Semifinals, Madison Square Garden, New York; Friday, 5:30 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: Xavier is set to face Villanova with the victor earning a spot in the Big East championship game. The teams split the regular season series at one win apiece. The teams last played each other on Feb. 24, when the Musketeers shot 51.1 percent from the field while limiting Villanova’s shooters to just 33.9 percent en route to the 12-point victory.
SUPER SENIORS: Villanova’s Phil Booth, Eric Paschall and Collin Gillespie have collectively accounted for 62 percent of the team’s scoring this season, including 63 percent of all Wildcats points over the last five games.
OFFENSIVE THREAT: Booth has had his hand in 42 percent of all Villanova field goals over the last five games. The senior guard has 29 field goals and 18 assists in those games.
WINLESS WHEN: Xavier is 0-6 when scoring fewer than 62 points and 18-8 when scoring at least 62.
ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Wildcats have recently gotten buckets via assists more often than the Musketeers. Villanova has an assist on 40 of 71 field goals (56.3 percent) across its past three games while Xavier has assists on 41 of 80 field goals (51.3 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: Villanova has made 10.7 3-pointers per game this season, which is second-best among Big East teams.