- Top-seeded Baylor is a 6.5-point favorite over Villanova in the Sweet 16 on Saturday (March 27) at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis
- Baylor is in the Sweet 16 for the fifth time since 2010
- A look at the Villanova-Baylor matchup along with the odds and a prediction can be found below
No. 5 seed Villanova hopes recent history repeats itself when it plays No. 1 Baylor at 5:15 pm ET on Saturday, March 27th, in an NCAA Tournament South Region semifinal at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The last two times Villanova reached the Sweet 16, in 2016 and 2018, it went on to win the national championship. These Wildcats are 18-6 and have won two games in the tournament following losses to Providence in their regular-season finale and Georgetown in the Big East Conference Tournament quarterfinals.
Baylor (24-2) has also bounced back after being knocked out of the Big 12 Conference Tournament semifinals by Oklahoma State. The Bears have won six of their last seven games and are favored to advance.
Villanova vs Baylor Odds (Updated)
|Team||Moneyline at FanDuel||Spread||Total|
|Villanova||+265||+7.5 (-106)||Over 142 (-116)|
|Baylor||-330||-7.5 (-116)||Under 142 (-106)|
Odds updated at 10:51 pm ET on March 27th. The point spread opened at Baylor -6.5. The total has been bet up three points from 139.
Villanova Regains Footing
Villanova’s two-game losing streak coincided with losing senior point guard Collin Gillespie to a season-ending knee injury.
However, Villanova has regained its footing as it showed Sunday by dispatching #13 seed North Texas 84-61 in the second round as a six-point favorite. The Wildcats effectively used the three ball as it shot a smoking 61.5% (16 of 26) from beyond the arc. Eight different players connected on threes.
Ball Movement 😤
— Villanova MBB (@NovaMBB) March 22, 2021
Sophomore forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl led four Villanova scorers in double figures with 18 points, six rebounds and six assists. Sophomore guard Justin Moore had 15 points and five assists. Senior forward Jermaine Samuels finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Junior guard Caleb Daniels added 11 points.
Villanova shot 55.4% overall from the field, making 31 of 56 attempts. After falling behind 21-13, the Wildcats used a 34-6 run to take a 47-27 halftime lead.
Chris Arcidiacono has taken over as the point guard. However, coach Jay Wright has lessened the load on the sophomore by having Moore and Samuels handle a shar of the ballhandling duties.
Robinson-Earl leads the team in scoring (16.0 points a game) and rebounding (8.3) while playing 85.3% of Villanova’s minutes.
This footwork by Jeremiah Robinson-Earl 👀 pic.twitter.com/HHvYEl4xm9
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 20, 2021
Moore is averaging 12.8 points and 3.0 assists. Samuels has averages of 11.9 points and 6.5 rebounds while turning the ball over just 24 times in 704 minutes this season.
Baylor Ends ATS Skid
Baylor ended its three-game losing streak against the spread Sunday when it beat Wisconsin 76-63 in a second-round game as a 6.5-point favorite. The Bears were in control throughout and led by as many as 19 points.
Junior wing Matthew Mayer gave Baylor an unexpected boost with 17 points in 24 minutes off the bench. It was his third-highest scoring output of the season. Mayer had totaled 16 points in his previous three games.
— Baylor Basketball (@BaylorMBB) March 22, 2021
Junior guards Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler added 16 points each. Mitchell also had eight assists for Baylor, which had just four turnovers.
Baylor won despite senior guard MaCio Teague being held to nine points on 3-of-11 shooting. It was just the third time this season Teague failed to reach double figures.
Butler is ranked as the seventh-best player in the country by KenPom.com and is averaging 16.9 points, 4.8 assists and 2.1 steal.
Jared Butler ties it for Baylor.
OVERTIME 🍿 pic.twitter.com/AqHVAN5VMt
— ESPN (@espn) March 3, 2021
Teague is scoring 16.1 points a game and has just 30 turnovers in 820 minutes. Mitchell has averages of 14.1 points and 5.4 assists and is shooting 52.1% from the floor and 46.1% from three-point range.
Who Survives and Advances?
According to KenPom, this is a matchup of two very efficient offenses. Baylor averages 123.1 points per 100 possession, the third-best mark in the nation. Villanova is sixth with 118.9.
The winner will face #3 Arkansas or #15 Oral Roberts in the Elite Eight.
The spread seems a tad high here. Now that it has gotten used to playing without Gillespie, look for Villanova to keep things close if not win outright.
Pick: Villanova +6.5 (-116)