The No. 16 Radford Highlanders (23-12) challenge the No. 1 Villanova Wildcats (30-4) in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament at PPG Paints Arena. Action gets underway at 6:50 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 15, 2018.
Radford Highlanders vs. Villanova Wildcats Betting Odds
Both teams beat their last opponent. The Wildcats defeated the Providence Friars 76-66, while the Highlanders beat the No. 16 LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds 71-61.
Radford played a nearly perfect game. They had an offensive rebounding percentage of 23.5 (below their season average of 34.0) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.525 (above their season average of 0.496). For those same stats, LIU Brooklyn had marks of 16.7 and 0.450, respectively. The Wildcats, on the other hand, held the Friars to an effective field goal percentage of 0.426 (below their season average of 0.499) and had an offensive rebounding percentage of 42.1 (above their season average of 28.4). Jalen Brunson put together a good game for Villanova with 31 points and six rebounds. Meanwhile, Ed Polite Jr. led the way for Radford, recording 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The elite offense of Villanova (second in the NCAA with an effective field goal percentage 0.597) will square off against the mid-tier defense of Radford (115th in effective field goal percentage allowed 0.494). The Wildcats figure to have the edge on that side of the ball.
The Highlanders’ Carlik Jones has been playing at a high level over his last five games, averaging 12.8 points, 4.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Meanwhile, Mikal Bridges has averaged 21.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.2 blocks during that same time frame for the Wildcats.
Radford Highlanders vs. Villanova Wildcats Betting Pick
College Basketball Pick: SU Winner – Radford, ATS Winner – Radford, O/U – Under
- Villanova ranks 20th in assists per game (16.7) while Radford ranks 226th (12.3).
- The Wildcats rank ninth in steals allowed per game (4.6) while the Highlanders rank 57th (5.5).
- Radford ranks 25th in rebounds allowed per game (31.5) while Villanova ranks 61st (32.7).
- The Wildcats rank ninth in three pointers attempted per game (28.7) while the Highlanders rank 142nd (22.0).
- Villanova ranks 43rd in blocks allowed per game (2.7) while Radford ranks 115th (3.3).
- During their last five games, the Wildcats have scored an average of 84.6 points per game (2.5 below their season average) and allowed an average of 69.0 points per game (1.9 below their season average).
- The Highlanders’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 10.2, up from 3.2 for the season.