Wednesday, December 5 at 8:30 PM ET
The Villanova Wildcats will be searching for their 24th straight Big 5 win when they host the Temple Owls at Finneran Pavilion on Wednesday. Villanova has won five straight against Temple since a 76-61 home loss on December 5, 2012.
Temple comes into this game off a 77-70 win at St. Joseph's last Saturday, with Quinton Rose and Shizz Alston, Jr. each scoring 15 points. It was Temple's third straight victory since a 57-51 loss against VCU in Brooklyn, when the Rams started on a 19-2 run.
This season Villanova isn't as formidable as the teams that won two of the last three national championships, so a win is obtainable for Temple. Villanova's two losses were at home, 73-46 against Michigan on November 14 and 76-68 in overtime against Furman on November 17. Last Saturday Villanova trailed at 42-39 halftime against an 0-8 La Salle team before taking control of the game to earn an 85-78 victory.
Last year Villanova blew out Temple 87-67 on December 13 at the Liacouras Center, but Jalen Brunson, Omari Spellman and Donte DiVincenzo combined for 70 points on 26 of 36 shooting and all of them are now in the NBA.
Temple can beat Villanova because they have the ability to avoid the late-game collapses they suffered last year. Seven of Temple's regular season losses were by seven or fewer points but they're 3-1 in such games this season, including their last two wins. For Temple to have a chance to stay in the game, they need to shoot better from distance, as they're making just 29.9 percent of their 3-point attempts.
The Temple Owls are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following an ATS win, 4-1 ATS in their last five road games and 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games against a team with a winning straight up record while the Villanova Wildcats are 1-4 ATS in their last five Wednesday games. I'm not predicting Temple to get the upset win but I like them to cover.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Temple +8.5 (-115) at Jazz Sports