Top-seeded Villanova’s ruthlessly efficient offense clashes with No. 5 West Virginia’s chaos-inducing defense in a highly compelling Sweet 16 matchup at the TD Garden on Friday night.
The game is scheduled to start at about 7:27 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on TBS. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch the game, as well as other NCAA tournament games, live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Hulu With Live TV: In addition to their extensive Netflix-like streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live channels, including TBS and CBS. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
DirecTV Now: TBS is included in all of DirecTV Now’s four main channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, plus you can get a free Amazon Fire TV if you prepay one month. Once signed up, you can watch the game live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
Sling TV: TBS is included in both the “Sling Blue” and “Sling Orange” channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial of either, and you can then watch the game live on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
Note: You can also watch any tournament game on your computer via the March Madness Live website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the March Madness Live app. To watch these streams, you’ll have a free preview before needing to sign in to a TV provider to keep watching, but if you don’t have cable, you can do this by logging in with your Hulu credentials.
With other top seeds dropping like flies, Villanova costed through the first two rounds as expected. The Wildcats had zero trouble with 16-seed Radford in an 87-61 win, then proceeded to score 49 second-half points against an elite defensive team in Alabama, rolling to an 81-58 drubbing.
Duke, whose path in the Midwest has opened up somewhat favorably, are the oddsmakers’ favorites to win the national championship at +325, but ‘Nova (+375) are at the very least expected to return to the Final Four for the second time in three years.
Friday night’s matchup in the Sweet 16 presents a difficult matchup, though. West Virginia also cruised through their first two matchups, beating Murray State by 17 and Marshall by 23, and Jevon Carter is playing like a man possessed right now. He racked up 49 points, 13 assists, nine rebounds and 11 steals in those two wins, and he has the look of someone capable of carrying his team to the Final Four.
The problem with West Virginia, however, is that they don’t match up very well with Villanova. The Mountaineers thrive off constant full-court pressure and creating turnovers, but when their press gets beat, that leads to a lot of open threes, as evidenced by them ranking 300th in the nation in three-point percentage allowed.
Villanova, meanwhile, have experienced guards and a number of different players who can handle the ball. They have the 11th lowest turnover percentage in the country, and then they have the shooters to make West Virginia pay if they’re able to handle the press. The ‘Cats are 11th in the country in three-point percentage, third in three-pointers made per game, and are fresh off burying 17 against Alabama, a team that defends the arc a lot better than West Virginia.
West Virginia likes to create chaos, but Villanova is a well-oiled offensive machine.
Still, with as good as the Mountaineers are playing, it would be a mistake to write them off completely. The Wildcats are 5.5-point favorites, but West Virginia has the tools to make anyone uncomfortable.
Source: Heavy Sports