Seton Hall Pirates vs. Villanova Wildcats Pick & Prediction MARCH 6th 2024

Villanova defeated Providence on the road to nudge in front of the Friars in not only the Big East Conference standings, but likely the NCAA Tournament bubble pecking order. The visiting Wildcats will try to do the same to a vulnerable Seton Hall team in another crucial game Wednesday night in Newark, N.J. Near the end of a long season, Villanova (17-12, 10-8 Big East) is finally on the upswing again. The Wildcats beat North Carolina on the way to the Battle 4 Atlantis trophy in November, but they also surprisingly lost to Philadelphia Big 5 rivals Penn, Saint Joseph’s and Drexel.

More recently, they have won six of eight games following a five-game Big East losing streak. “We have multiple guys who have been through a lot in their careers,” Villanova coach Kyle Neptune said, per the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“We’ve been through a lot together as a unit, and I think it’s kind of really hardened us over this year. Our goal has always been to be the best by the end, and I think we’re trending that way.” That toughness was on display when Villanova rallied from a seven-point first-half deficit to beat Providence 71-60 on Saturday. Justin Moore had 15 points, Eric Dixon scored 11 and Mark Armstrong tallied 10 points and five assists as the Wildcats shot 51 percent. Villanova blasted Seton Hall 80-54 when the teams first met Feb. 11. The Pirates’ five road losses in the Big East have come by an average of 23 points. Seton Hall (18-11, 11-7) had won five of six and entrenched itself in the NCAA Tournament conversation before two losses last week, 85-64 at Creighton and 91-61 at UConn, both top 10 teams at present. “You’re probably not going to get a lot out of me,” Seton Hall coach Shaheen Holloway said on the postgame radio show at UConn. “It’s embarrassing how we played. Give (UConn) credit, they came out on senior night and handed it to us.

“But we’ve all got to do some soul-searching and figure out how to finish out this season strong, on a high note.” Dre Davis has averaged 19.7 points per game on 55.3 percent shooting over Seton Hall’s past three games. Kadary Richmond (16.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists per game) continues to pace the Pirates, while Dixon (16.1 points, 6.2 rebounds) is Villanova’s top man. Dixon has scored 20 or more points nine times this season. –Field Level Media

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