Houston vs Villanova Prediction: Will Villanova Get to the Final Four?

Which team will make it to the Final Four? The Houston Cougars or the Villanova Wildcats? Lightning Locks is here to break down the game and share his pick.
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Houston vs Villanova Prediction: Will Villanova Get to the Final Four?

This tournament is proof of why no one will ever predict all the games ahead of time because you don't know who is playing and you have two double-digit seeds as the eight best teams, and more importantly, the conference that got the most teams the Big 10 has zero teams left and the ACC, the conference everyone said was weak all year has three of the final eight which is insane.

We will focus on non-ACC games as we look at the Conference USA champ Houston Cougars and the Villanova Wildcats, the team everyone knew was the best team in the Big East. I have checked to make sure it's not a national wildcat or cougar day after yesterday's national peacock day. You must check everything these days. Some may say it's national cougar day every day but today we are going with a different animal and here's why we are hoping there will be a lot of upset cougars tonight. 

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Houston vs Villanova Prediction

There is no doubt Houston had a tough road to get here and that has to put some wear and tear on you. Houston took down the size of Cockburn and Illinois and the ridiculous size of the behemoth known as Arizona with their defense and their length. Today they face a different monster because the first difference is the biggest difference. The free-throw shooting discrepancy between these two is night and day as Villanova was the BEST free-throw shooting team at almost 83% this year while Houston was one of the WORST at 66% good for 334th in the country.

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The free-throw shooting hasn't come into play yet in the tournament for Houston but 68%, 71%, and 53% is what they shot so far and that is leaving a whole bunch of points out there. We also have a very rare situation after a team wins all of their tournament games by double-digits and is the favorite over a higher seed. The percentage is minuscule for the covering of this game and as we mentioned free-throw shooting will come into play because, Nova is 83%, 85%, 92% and they do NOT leave points on the table.

Houston wins with their defense plain and simple. You don't hold one of the best offenses  in the country to 60 points in what Houston did to Arizona and Illinois to 53. It's just unheard of the defensive numbers that Houston put up this year.

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Houston has one other huge problem and that is the lack of a bench. When guys get in foul trouble they don't have too much to bring out there and Villanova loves to get teams in foul trouble so this will come into play today because Jay Wright knows how to get his team to the next round.

Speaking of Jay Wright he has taken this team to the Elite Eight three times in the last six years and that's quite the accomplishment as he also won the title twice including a lucky game-winner. But a win is a win. This team, as we mentioned, is the best free-throw shooting team and how many games have people lost because of bad free-throw shooting, especially in the tournament. When you shoot about 17% better than your opponent that's an extra two points every ten free throws and in a game this tight we will take any edge.

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Neither one of these teams has the tremendous size they have seen but they have similar type players as Villanova's Jermaine Samules would fit right in with Houston, and this is the guy that will decide the game because no one on Houston is built like him and he knows if he gets double teamed get it to Gillespie and Moore for some 3's. Villanova shoots almost 37% from the 3 point line so if they are on, watch out because this game will change fast. We have the current best coach in the tournament, an experienced senior-laden team with six seniors (including their two best players) and four juniors, and a defense that has held their last seven opponents to 65 points or less. These teams are pretty similar but you look for the advantages and the best coach, best player, and the huge free-throw advantage lead us to one choice.

That one choice is VILLANOVA going back to the Final Four. We will gladly take the +3 available at points bet right now as this game will be tight. We can't trust the Cougars to hit the free throws or not get into foul trouble as they have. Coach Wright cements himself as the best coach in the business by taking his team to another Final Four and shows who really is the King of the Big East. Let's hope there are a lot of upset cougars tonight because we will be ready to party after the Wildcats upset them. 

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Houston Cougars vs Villanova Wildcats Pick

Pick: Villanova +3 (-110) (Bet $110 to Win $100)

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