Pregame at TD BankNorth Garden

By Chris Fujimoto

About 45 minutes remains before tip-off and Villanova is out on the court completing shooting drills. There is a certain nervous energy surrounding the arena tonight as the Pitt and Villanova fans trickle in to the arena. The players look ready and it seems like you don’t have to tell them that tonight is the most important game of the season. Interesting to note that Scottie has a sleeve on his left arm. Scottie walked in to Thursday’s press conference heavily wrapped in ice but none was on that left arm so it certainly is a question mark about what the point of his sleeve.

This one should be a good one. Jay noted in Friday’s press conference that Dejuan Blair has definitely learned from his past experience against Villanova. Wright mentioned that against Xavier Blair played 17 minutes in the first half while only picking up a single foul. In the first game against ‘Nova, Wright noted, Blair was being overly agressive when he didn’t need to be. I notice that when Blair plays he is either too agressive, or not agressive enough. Villanova will take both sides of that spectrum, but a Blair that is playing perfectly is nearly impossible to beat.Villanova will look to attack the rim and hope to disrupt Pittsburgh’s defense by mixing it with the outside shots. Different from the first game against Pitt will be tonight’s starting lineup. In the first matchup Pena was still set in the starters role with Shane Clark playing off the bench. This time Clark will be the starter and hopefully his ability to crash the boards will be a good Villanova advantage.

As Pitt takes the court for their warmups I will end this pregame report by giving final thoughts and the final score. This will be the same as the first game, a physical battle down low and a defensive fight for 40 minutes. I believe these teams are different than the ones that met in January. Villanova has recomitted itself to lockdown defense and Pitt seems to be struggling offensively. This should be a good one, and one for the ages. I believe Villanova will be able to pull this one off. Villanova 66 Pittsburgh 62

P.S. We probably won’t blog as much this game. We’ll spend too much time enjoying this one.

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