Houston Cougars vs. Villanova Wildcats / 2022 NCAA Elite Eight Predictions & Preview

Houston Cougars vs. Villanova Wildcats / 2022 NCAA Elite Eight Predictions & Preview

In an NCAA Tournament where it’s been dangerous to be a one-seed, the South Region final will take place between two teams that didn’t land on the top seed line. The fifth-seeded Houston Cougars and second-seeded Villanova Wildcats have both taken out everyone in their way so far, and are now one win away from a spot in the Final Four.

This game could be the toughest that either team faces in the entire tournament, though, and both teams will need to bring their best to win here. BetMGM is a great option for you to make your March Madness betting picks.

Game Prediction

This is going to be an excellent back and forth game between two opponents more than deserving of getting to the Final Four. At the end of the day, the championship experience of Jay Wright will be the difference-maker, as he and the Wildcats should be able to do just enough to withstand the tremendous pressure generated by Houston.

Take the Wildcats and the points in this game using one of these betting websites, as it should come down to the final seconds no matter which direction it goes.

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Houston Cougars Overview

The Houston Cougars put forth one of the most impressive performances of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night when they took out the top-seeded Arizona Wildcats in the Sweet 16. Houston held the top seed in their region to just 60 points in that game, and once again won out against elite competition on the interior. But it was Houston’s three-point shooting that was the difference-maker in their last game.

Houston shot 45% from three-point range against Arizona, making nine of their 20 shots from long distance. Against a Villanova team capable of filling it up from three-point range themselves, the Cougars will need to maintain that three-point shooting efficiency if they want to get to a second straight final four. Kyler Edwards will be especially significant in that regard, as he made five of his nine three-point shots on Thursday night.

Defensively, the key for Houston will be to contain Villanova from the perimeter. Houston has the kind of elite rebounding ability to limit the number of second chances that their opponents get. But Villanova’s so good from three-point range that the Cougars could get burned without second chances if Houston isn’t careful.

Villanova Wildcats Overview

Villanova has had a relatively straightforward path through their first three games in this NCAA Tournament, beating two Big Ten teams in their last two games. The Wildcats started their tournament with a blowout win over Delaware before they beat Ohio State and Michigan to reach the Elite Eight. Now, Villanova will look to win as an underdog despite being the higher seeded team in this contest.

While the three-point shooting of Villanova has been the identity of the Wildcats heading into the tournament, it has been their defense that has pulled them through so far. Jay Wright’s team has allowed just under 59 points per game during this NCAA Tournament, easing the pressure on the Wildcats’ offense to perform. Against a Houston team that is great from distance and on the offensive glass, Villanova will need another defensive gem to get to New Orleans.

The Wildcats will also need more from Collin Gillespie, who struggled in the Sweet 16 against Michigan. Gillespie made just four of his 14 field goal attempts against the Wolverines and did not get to the free throw line at any point in that contest. He will need to be more efficient if the Wildcats want to avoid being sent home just one hurdle before the Final Four on Saturday night.

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Ryan has been one of the leading sports business & iGaming professionals for over 15 years. He started as a freelance writer and now operates one of the top sports content agencies around, Knup Solutions. He has literally written 10,000 plus sports and betting-related articles across the web. Just search his name and you will see some of the work he has submitted to top iGaming sites.

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