Thursday, December 30, 2010

Villanova Finishes Annual Big 5 Competition against Temple

The #8 Villanova Wildcats will take on the 9-2 Temple Owls to finish up their Big 5 schedule for the year. Temple is not ranked by ESPN and USA Today; however, the Owls are #25 in the AP and are looking to defeat Villanova for the second consecutive year. Last year, Temple stunned Villanova in a 75-65 win against the third ranked team in the country. Temple is poised to continue its success in recent history as they are the favorites to win the A-10 Conference. Villanova, coming off a rout of Monmouth, is looking to sweep the Big 5 in 2010 after going 3-1 last season.

Junior Ramone Moore is the leading scorer for the Owls, averaging 15 points a game. Moore was the key in Temple's earlier upset of Georgetown with 30 points on 12-18 shooting. The last time these two rivals faced off, Juan Fernandez exploded for 33 points. Fernandez has seen his role diminished this year on this team as Moore has become a more prominent scorer, but Fernandez is always a threat to have a huge game.

Villanova has put together 5 straight victories after a defeat to Tennessee in the NIT Preseason Tip Off, although the strength of their opponents has not been particularly challenging. This is the last non-conference game left before Big East play begins for Villanova, but this game should not be overlooked by any means. Temple presents a tough obstacle to Villanova as they have proved they can win this game. This game will come down to the play inside the paint. In order for Villanova to win, Mouphtaou Yarou and Antonio Pena will have to own the defensive glass. Temple is a solid rebounding team, as all 5 players on the floor will come after the ball.

This game will be a hard fought game, but Villanova is just too talented to lose this game. Temple will give Villanova all they can handle and have a very good chance at pulling off this upset and move up into the top 25, but I see Villanova winning this game 67-54.

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