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Ohio State looked very impressive in their opening game against Loyola Chicago but now they get a much stiffer test against Villanova in the second round. Will they be able to have the same success? Joey Ruiz breaks down the game.

Villanova vs. Ohio State Prediction: Can the Buckeyes Cash the Upset?

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Villanova vs. Ohio State Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: Sunday, March 20, 2022
  • Game Time: 2:40 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: CBS

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Villanova vs. Ohio State Line Movement

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Villanova has been one of the more consistent teams in the nation this year on both sides of the ball. On offense they are currently ranked 8th in adjusted efficiency, 32nd in lowest turnover percentage, and number one free throw percentage as a team. Nova plays at one of the slowest paces in the country at 19.7 seconds per touch which is ranked 348th so they really slow the game down and limit other teams' opportunities.

Another thing that I really like about Villanova is that they challenged themselves with a really tough non-conference schedule this year. They are ranked 15th in toughest non-conference schedule as they played UCLA, Purdue, Tennessee, Syracuse, and Baylor. In Big East play, they were even better this season as they went 19-4 against conference opponents and 2 came against Marquette so overall, Villanova has played exceptionally well in one of the toughest conferences in the nation. Jay Wright is a top 5 coach in college basketball and Nova is a very experienced group who always seems to make winning plays.

Collin Gillespie is their leader as he has been one of the best guards in the nation. He is shooting 42% from 3, 48% from 2, and 90% from the line this season so he is a few shots away from being in the 40/50/90 club. Jermaine Samuels and Eric Dixon are the main post presence for the Wildcats, but they can really stretch the floor as Dixon is shooting 48% from 3 and Samuels is shooting 55% from the field on the year. Key and Young are back playing for Ohio St and are solid players, but I really think Dixon and Samuels should be able to beat them off the dribble and create scoring opportunities for themselves and others.

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Ohio State comes into this game after winning a rock fight against Loyola Chicago. They held Loyola to 41 points and held them to 25% from 2, 29% from 3, and outrebounded them by 10. They really dominated in all aspects of that game, but Ohio State can really struggle to score at times and has faltered in the second half of a lot of games this season. This season they blew second-half leads to Michigan, Penn State, Florida, Rutgers, and Indiana due to their inconsistency on offense.

On the season, Ohio State is ranked 13th in adjusted offensive efficiency, 23rd in offensive effective FG%, 35th in 2-point %, and 37th in 3-point %. They are ranked in the top 100 in most major offensive categories but like Villanova, they play at a very slow pace. They are ranked 320th in average length of possession at 18.9 seconds and when they aren’t hitting outside shots, they are prone to long scoring droughts. Now that Ohio State is back fully healthy with Key, Young, and Meechie Johnson back in the lineup they could be dangerous as they were shorthanded in a lot of those second-half collapses. Ohio State also has EJ Liddell who might be the best player on the court in this matchup. Liddell was one of the best players in the Big 10 this season and is a matchup nightmare with his skill set at 6’7

Ohio State has played really well in the first halves of games this season and now that they are back to full strength, it's hard to judge them off of their past performances. Ohio State has gone 4-0 ATS in the first half over their last four games and Nova has struggled in the opening 20 minutes over the last 2 weeks. I am rolling with Ohio State 1H +3 -110 for 1U and a little sprinkle on Ohio State 1H ML at +175 as I think the Buckeyes get off to a good start in this game.

Villanova Wildcats vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Pick

Article Author


Joey has spent the last 6+ years betting on sports with a focus on basketball and baseball. Basketball is his main focus, and not many people know more about mid-major basketball than him. Whether you need advice on a Saturday night primetime game or a Tuesday night back-alley SWAC/MEAC game, Joey is your man.


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