George Mason Patriots vs. Villanova Wildcats
The George Mason Patriots and the Villanova Wildcats play in the 8/9 matchup of the East Region of the NCA Tournament.Â Villanova is a 1-point favorite over George Mason with the over/under total set at 135. The winner will likely take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in the next round.
Should Villanova even be in the tournament? This is the first team that has ever come into the dance on a five-game losing streak, but things are worse than that for the Wildcats. They are only 5-10 in their last 15 games, and they haven’t played a fantastic game in quite some time. This is the second straight season that this team really faltered down the stretch.Â Villanova was bounced early in the Big East Tournament last season, nearly taken out in the first round as a No. 2 seed, and then finally fell to the St. Mary’s Gaels in the Round of 32. The threesome of Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes and Maalik Wayns make up one of the best backcourts in the nation, with all three averaging at least 14.0 points per game. All of their shooting percentages are down this season though, combining to shoot roughly 42 percent from the field. The Wildcats enter this one at just 1-12 against the spread in its last 13 overall.
George Mason didn’t last long in the CAA Tournament this year, but as was proven by its No. 8 seed there was never a doubt about this team getting into March Madness. The Patriots didn’t play much of a schedule, but they did pick up 26 wins and performed well in a solid Colonial League to win the regular season title. This is a particularly efficient club, as the Patriots are shooting 47.4 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from three-point range. On the other side of the court, George Mason is a just as dangerous, keeping team down to just 61.5 points per game.Â George Mason is an impressive 20-6 against the spread in their last 26 games.
Villanova has three straight wins since 1998 against George Mason, but George Mason has covered in two of the three games.Â Those games will have no bearing on the outcome of todays game.Â Although Villanova is struggling, and many people don’t believe they belong in the tournament, I believe they will surprise many and win today.Â I will lay the 1-point and take the Villanova Wildcats.
Villanova Wildcats -1 George Mason Patriots