Looking at the standings, seeing Villanova’s 3-4 conference record, I’d like to go into tomorrow night full of optimism.
This Villanova squad lost to Syracuse and DePaul, so that ought to bode well for us. But something in my mind urges me to not count them out.
Could it be that in the past 10 games, Pitt and Villanova are split 5-5? Could it be that Villanova, despite some bad marks, are ranked 17th in the RPI? Could it be that even with our amazing 8th ranked SOS, they are higher with 7? Could it be that their record of 2-2 against ranked opponents is better than our 0-3?
The fact of the matter is that Villanova is a better team than their record shows. Their sub-.500 record in conference gives them more reason to attack this game. A third win over a ranked team would like mighty good when people look at their stat sheet in March.
I think a big part of this game will be Pitt’s recent inconsistency. Will we see our guards light it up with 60% from the arc, or end up under 30% like they did yesterday? Will they get 23 assists to 7 turnovers like yesterday, or will they trip over their feet and throw balls into the seats like we’ve seen before?
If Pitt takes Villanova as seriously as I do, I think they will know how to handle themselves. If Pitt goes in rushed, and overconfident, I think we might see some less than satisfying minutes.
My prediction: Pitt 67, Villanova 59.
[EDIT: Actual score: Pitt 65, Villanova 59. I’m good.]