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Marquette Basketball Preview Primer: at #6 Villanova

Get yourself ready for tonight's game against the Wildcats.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Marquette Golden Eagles (12-4, 2-2) at #6 Villanova Wildcats (14-2, 4-0)

Time: 7:30pm Central
Location: The Pavilion in Villanova, PA
Television: FS1
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
Radio: 540 ESPN
Live Stats: GameTracker

Marquette Stat Leaders

Points: Henry Ellenson, 15.9 ppg
Rebounds: Henry Ellenson, 9.9 rpg
Assists: Traci Carter, 4.9 apg

Villanova Stat Leaders

Points: Josh Hart, 15.9 ppg
Rebounds: Daniel Ochefu, 8.4 rpg
Assists: Ryan Arcidiacono, 4.5 apg

Current KenPom Rankings

Marquette: #111
Villanova: #1
KenPom Prediction: Villanova has a 96% chance of victory, with a predicted score of 79-61.

Tempo Free Fun: This is a battle of the most efficient offense in the Big East against the least efficient offense in the Big East.  Villanova is scoring over 115 points per 100 possessions in league action, while Marquette is managing just slightly more than 92 points per 100 possessions.  This wouldn't be that big of an issue for your Golden Eagles, except that Villanova is also the most efficient defense in the league, too.  93.8 points per 100 possessions.  That's what Villanova's been allowing through four league games, and that's what Marquette's shaky offense is going to have to go up against in this one.  Marquette's biggest issue this season has been holding on to the ball, and that's going to be even more important here.  Villanova ends defensive possessions with a turnover more than 21% of the time, and they rank 36th in the country in that regard.

Because Villanova loves themselves some three pointers (46.5% of their offense is three-point attempts), this could lead to a massive disparity in free throws in this game.  Marquette doesn't put people on the line (#2 in the country at Defensive Free Throw Rate) and Villanova doesn't get to the line (#300 in Offensive FTR).  Marquette's best chance of victory may come if Villanova is cold and keeps shooting.  They have the 32nd best Effective Field Goal Percentage in the country, but that's because they're the second best two-point shooting team in the country.  Villanova's three point shooting ranks just #271 in the country at a less than efficient 31.5%.

Villanova Last 10 Games: 8-2, with wins in their last six games.

Marquette Last 10 Games: 8-2, with wins in their last two games.

All Time Series: Villanova leads, 17-9

Current Streak: Villanova has won the last six meetings dating back to 2013.

Henry Ellenson Watch: Ellenson is currently the 5th best freshman rebounder in Marquette history.  He'll tie Odartey Blankson for 4th place with his next rebound, tie Trevor Powell for 3rd place with two more rebounds, and tie Damon Key for 2nd place with six more rebounds.  With 58 free throws made, Ellenson has the 10th most FTM for a MU freshman, three short of Tony Smith in 9th place.  He's still six free throw attempts away from Grant Wittberger's 10th most FTA by a Marquette freshman.  Ellenson's next block will tie Scott Merritt for the fourth most blocked shots by a Marquette freshman.

Traci Carter Watch: 78 assists on the season is good enough for the 9th most by a Marquette freshman, and 10 better than the total posted by Duane Wilson a year ago.  Carter's next assist will tie him with Mark Anglavar for the 8th most in program history by a freshman.

Follow Along On Twitter

@MarquetteMBB - Official Marquette account
@NovaMBB - Official Villanova account
@AnonymousEagle - Hey, that's us!
@VUHoops - SB Nation's Villanova site
@becb_sbn - SB Nation's Big East site
@Matt_Velazquez - The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel MU beat reporter