Preview: Villanova vs North Carolina

When: 9:19 PM  ET, Monday, April 4, 2016
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
Matchup Edge
VILL Edge in: UNC
Points Per Game
Field Goal %
Free Throw %
Defense
Rebounding
Turnovers
Bench


Villanova is fresh off the biggest blowout in Final Four history and aims to carry the momentum into Monday's national championship contest when it faces top-seeded North Carolina at Houston's NRG Stadium. The second-seeded Wildcats rolled to a 95-51 victory over Oklahoma on Saturday and attempt to etch their names alongside the school's famous 1985 title-winning squad that upset Georgetown in the NCAA championship game.

The Tar Heels have posted five straight double-digit victories in the tournament and are vying for the sixth national championship in school history. "We got to go out there and play our game," senior forward Brice Johnson said after Saturday's 83-66 victory over Syracuse. "Those guys are a very good team. They're really hot right now. They held one of the best players in the country (Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield, nine points) to little or nothing." Villanova's stunning 44-point victory boosted its margin of victory in the tourney to 24.2 points and Wildcats coach Jay Wright understands the history in play. "Those guys are really icons on our campus, they really are," Wright said of the 1985 team led by post players Ed Pinckney and Howard Pressley. "That whole team brings that magical underdog feeling, like anything's possible."

TV: 9:19 p.m. ET, TBS

ABOUT VILLANOVA (34-5): Junior guard Josh Hart was superb against Oklahoma by scoring 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting to fuel the Wildcats' torrid 71.4 percent shooting mark. Hart averages a team-high 15.5 points while teaming with two other stellar outside shooters in junior forward Kris Jenkins (13.6 average, team-high 98 3-pointers) and senior guard Ryan Arcidiacono (12.4 average, 74 3-pointers). Villanova is thin in the frontcourt compared to the Tar Heels and could use a strong performance from senior center Daniel Ochefu, who averages 10.1 points and leads the squad in rebounding (7.6) and blocked shots (55).

ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA (33-6): Johnson is the Tar Heels' top player with averages of 17 points and 10.5 rebounds and three other players average more than 12 points per game. Senior point guard Marcus Paige (12.3) has excelled from long range during the tournament by going 16-of-34 from 3-point range and he holds the school mark of 295 career 3-pointers. Sophomore guard Joel Berry II averages 12.6 points and sophomore forward Justin Jackson averages 12.3 while junior center Kennedy Meeks (9.4 points, 5.9 rebounds) has played well of late by making 16-of-22 shots over the past three contests.

TIP-INS

1. North Carolina holds an 11-4 series edge and is 5-1 against Villanova in the NCAA Tournament.

2. The Wildcats are shooting 49 percent from 3-point range during the tournament.

3. The Tar Heels are 25-1 when scoring 80 or more points.

PREDICTION: Villanova 77, North Carolina 73

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Villanova 34-5 W5 15-1 10-2 9-2 15-4 19-1 18-3
North Carolina 33-6 W10 15-1 6-5 12-0 9-2 24-4 17-4

Last Meeting

Villanova North Carolina
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
3/22/13 VILL 71 UNC 78 71 35 44.3 78 23 49.0

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
VILL J. Pinkston 20 53.3 4
UNC P. Hairston 23 63.6 4
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
VILL J. Pinkston 8 5 3
UNC P. Hairston 5 1 4
Assists Player  
VILL R. Arcidiacono 3
UNC R. Bullock 4
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
VILL J. Hart 606 51.5 100
UNC B. Johnson 664 61.4 142
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
VILL D. Ochefu 272 75 197
UNC B. Johnson 408 114 294
Assists Player  
VILL R. Arcidiacono 167
UNC J. Berry II 146
Quickchart Matchup
Villanova  Off vs  North Carolina Def
78.0  Points For
69.8 Points Against
48.1 FG%
41.3 FG%
32.8 Reb
28.5 Reb
North Carolina Off vs  Villanova Def
83.0 Points For
63.3 Points Against
48.4 FG%
40.2 FG%
28.5 Reb
29.1 Reb

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Villanova Overall North Carolina
34-5 W/L 33-6
20-17-1 ATS 20-18-1
20-17-1 O/U 21-18-0
78.0 Pts For 83.0
63.3 Pts Against 69.8
Villanova Neutral North Carolina
9-2 W/L 12-0
7-4-0 ATS 9-2-1
5-6-0 O/U 8-4-0
75.5 Pts For 83.9
62.0 Pts Against 68.0
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