Line: Villanova by 22½.


Josh Hart was the best player on the court for Villanova in the Wildcats' three-game sweep to the Big East tournament championship. The 6-foot-5 sophomore sixth man shot 21 of 29 (72.4 percent) from the field and averaged 17.7 points while knocking down nine three-point baskets in 14 attempts (64.3 percent).

Lafayette point guard Nick Lindner, a sophomore from Germantown Academy, averaged 23.7 points and deposited 61.5 percent of his field-goal attempts and 60 percent from three (9 of 15) in the Leopards' run to the Patriot League title.


The Wildcats' JayVaughn Pinkston shot 30.4 percent (4 of 13) in the Big East tournament and scored 18 points in the three contests. The 6-7, 235-pound senior took only three shots in each of the last two games. With a physical advantage inside, he will need to look more to the basket Thursday night.

Who wants it at crunch time?

Ryan Arcidiacono won the Big East semifinal game against Providence by driving the length of the court, getting fouled in the paint, and sinking a pair of free throws with 3.6 seconds to play.

Wrong guy to foul

When speaking of Lafayette, you might say "wrong team to foul." The Leopards finished ninth in the nation in free-throw percentage at 76.6 percent, and every starter on the team is shooting at least 76.6 percent. Lindner (85.0) and forward Seth Hinrichs (84.5) have the highest marks of players who have averaged one made free throw per game.

Right guy to foul

Villanova's Dylan Ennis has the lowest percentage (62.0) among the team's eight-man rotation.

Who hits the three?

Again, there are a plethora of candidates in this category. Between the two teams, seven players have connected on at least 50 threes, led by Darrun Hilliard of Villanova with 73 and Joey Ptasinski of Lafayette with 72. Hart (46.8 percent) and Ptasinski (45.6 percent) are the top shooters from deep on each team.

Toughest matchup

Villanova coach Jay Wright may have to go to a four-guard lineup to counter Lafayette's four three-point shooters on the floor. That might mean the 6-5 Josh Hart going up against Seth Hinrichs, a 6-8 forward who had converted 51 threes and shoots better than 39 percent from deep.

- Joe Juliano