College basketball today: Villanova-Seton Hall a statement game, Syracuse can't afford a loss
Here is what you need to know in college basketball for Wednesday, Feb. 28:
Most intriguing game
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Number 35 back in the starting vs Pittsburgh! pic.twitter.com/BxUwL5LeUp— Notre Dame MBB (@NDmbb) February 27, 2018
Villanova at Seton Hall, 8:30 p.m., FS1: Villanova has become the team to beat in the Big East, and so far Creighton, Providence and Butler have been able to change their seasons by knocking off Nova at home (St. John’s won at Villanova but the Red Storm aren’t going to the NCAAs unless they win the Big East tournament). Seton Hall will be in the field but this could be a win to change the narrative even more and give the Pirates momentum going into the Big East tournament next week at Madison Square Garden. It would also behoove the Wildcats to win this game to help a top two line profile.
Syracuse at Boston College, 9 p.m., ACC Network: The Orange cannot afford to lose this game. Beating BC on the road isn’t going to get them in the tournament but it’s the kind of loss that could keep them out. Syracuse has lost three of the last four games, with the one win at Miami. The season finishes with a game against Clemson, giving Syracuse a legit shot to finish with a road win and a quality home win. Then, win a game in the ACC tournament and the profile will look much more palatable.
The Orange are Boston bound pic.twitter.com/lORYfTQh9C— Syracuse Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) February 27, 2018
Texas A&M at Georgia, 8:30 p.m., SEC Network: These two are in the middle of that muddled group of SEC teams that are becoming harder to separate. The Aggies have slid back a bit losing three of the last four, but the last game was a critical road win at Vanderbilt. They finish with the road game at Georgia and a home game against Alabama. Georgia is hanging on with three wins in the last four games, beating Florida on the road and Tennessee and LSU at home. The Bulldogs finish with the Aggies and then at Tennessee.
The one to watch
Providence at Xavier, 6:30 p.m., FS1: I could have gone with Florida State-Clemson or Houston-SMU here, but the Friars and Musketeers should provide a rugged affair that could be a precursor to the Big East tournament this week. If the Friars play to their potential -- push the ball, guard, and crash the boards -- then they can give Xavier a game at Cintas. The Friars beat Xavier 81-72 in early January so they go into this game with confidence, especially after beating Georgetown in DC. Xavier is trying to get the top seed in the Big East and win the title outright for the first time. This is the tough one, since the season ends at DePaul Saturday.