Two old school Big East foes will meet at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night, as St. John’s and Villanova play in the Big East quarterfinals. The Red Storm will play this game on their home floor, and look to upset Jay Wright’s Wildcats en route to a berth in the semifinals of this historic tournament. In our college basketball picks for Thursday, we look at St. John’s vs Villanova from a betting perspective.
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St. John’s vs Villanova Betting Pick
This game will be played at Madison Square Garden at 7:00 PM ET on Thursday, March 10, 2022.
Why Bet On St. John’s:
✅ The fact that this is a home game for St. John’s is important, despite the fact that they will not have their full home crowd on hand for this matchup. St. John’s is an institution in New York City, and the crowd should come out in favor of the Red Storm in this matchup as a result. That will help them stay in this game against a more talented Villahova team.
✅ Also helping St. John’s stay in this game will be Julian Champagnie, who is the most dynamic scorer for either team in this game. Champagnie averages 19.1 points per game, and can take over a game in a way that no member of Villanova can. While Villanova is the better team, Champagnie is this game’s best player, and should help the Johnnies hang around.
✅ These two teams played twice this season, with Villanova winning both of those matchups. But St. John’s kept their matchup in New York within single digits, losing by just six in that game. With St. John’s needing this game to keep its tournament hopes alive, while Villanova will be a top-10 team regardless, expect another nip and tuck affair between these two teams.
St. John’s Red Storm
St. John’s struggled down the stretch this season, losing three of their final four games before the Big East tournament. But they kicked off their Big East tournament with a win over DePaul on their home floor at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Now, the Red Storm will look to feed off of the momentum from their blowout win of the Blue Demons en route to a win over Villanova.
For St. John’s to have a chance in this game, they need a big game from Julian Champagnie. Champagnie is the leader of an offense that has averaged 80 points per game this season, and how well he plays will likely determine how far St. John’s goes in this tournament. Against a team as well coached as Villanova, expect Champagnie not to get much room in this game, as he will have to create for himself.
Villanova will begin its Big East tournament here in the quarterfinal round, after finishing in second to Providence in the regular season standings in the conference. The Wildcats lost just four times in conference play this season, with three of those four Big East losses coming on the road. Here, they will look to avoid a loss on St. John’s home court, even though the game is considered to be a neutral site affair.
Three-point shooting will be very important for Villanova in this game, as they average over 15 attempts per game from long distance. On those attempts, they have shot the ball at a respectable 36.6% clip. But a day just a few percentage points below that number could be underwhelming enough to allow St. John’s to hang around in this contest.