The ninth-seed University of Miami women’s basketball team will take on the fourth-seed Villanova Wildcats in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament this afternoon.
For Miami, they are coming off of arguably their biggest win in program history. Earlier this week, Miami would upset the Indiana Hoosiers, 70-68 in the second round.
Lola Pendande would put up a team-leading 19 points and Destiny Harden would chip in 18 herself. Harden would make a crucial game winning shot that ultimately lifted Miami into their first Sweet 16 appearance since 1992, and the second occurrence of said accomplishment in women’s basketball history at ‘The U’.
Villanova on the other hand knocked off another Florida team. The Wildcats took down Florida Gulf Coast University, 76-57, during the team’s prior game on Monday. Maddy Siegrist would go on to record a team-high 31 points in the victory over FGCU.
The Hurricanes will have quite the daunting task once the action starts. Siegrist is women collegiate basketball’s leading scorer in the nation, she averages a staggering 29.2 points-per-game.
Villanova enters the matchup averaging 71 points per game on the season, 7.1 more than the Miami defense allows per contest. The Wildcats are also 27-1 in games when they score 64 points or more.
Villanova is also quite dangerous from beyond the arc, they have made more threes than their opponents this season, hitting 6.9 shots per game from three, while limiting the opposition to just five. When Villanova gets going from deep, it’s lights out for their competition. The Wildcats are 19-0 this season when they hit their average.
The Hurricanes average more points per game, 70.5, than the 58.4 per contest that Villanova gives up. When Miami gets to the 58-point mark, they are 20-8 on the season.
Three Key Wildcats that Miami Will Have to Contain:
Villanova’s aforementioned leading scorer and rebounder is Maddy Siegrist, who averages 29.2 points (first in the country) and 9.1 rebounds per game. Lucy Olsen produces 12.5 points and 4.5 assists for Villanova and 7.2 points per game are contributed from Maddie Burke.
Burke is the Wildcats biggest threat for Miami on Friday from beyond the arc. During the 2022-2023 season, Burke has lead Villanova in converted threes per contest, by way of draining 1.9 per outing. (Shooting at a clip of 37 percent).
Miami and Villanova’s action will get under way at 2:30 PM EST, at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The game will broadcast on the ESPN+ app and fuboTV.
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