CLEVELAND -- Villanova faces George Mason today at 2:10 in the NCAA Tournament.
Here are our keys to the game for both teams:
Three things Villanova must do:
1. Try to remember how they were getting it done back in, say, January. And most of all, forget about how things unraveled against South Florida. If they play tight, and tentative, it’s not going to be good. Play to win instead of not to lose.
2. Get at least two of their three leading scorers – Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes and Maalik Wayns – going. They’ve rarely had decent games at the same time. When they do, the Wildcats have a much better chance. Especially if they’re at least making a few from the arc.
3. Get some contributions from the supporting cast. Particularly from Antonio Pena and Mouphtaou Yarou. They don’t necessarily have to be difference-makers, but neither can they be virtual non-factors.
Three things George Mason must do:
1. Force the Wildcats into some bad defensive matchups, mostly along the perimeter. The Patriots look a little bit like Marquette, and that style can cause problems for teams that can’t get all their guys out to guard along the perimeter.
2. Get out to a good start. The last thing Villanova probably needs at this point is to be staring at an early deficit, just because.
3. Two-parter – Do some damage from the arc, because a lot of Villanova opponents seem to have been accomplishing that lately, and try not to let the Wildcats do too much of their own on the boards, especially at the offensive end.