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Game Thread: St. John's vs. Villanova

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Can the Johnnies keep it close against the number one team in the nation?

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

St. John's vs. Villanova

When: Saturday, February 13, 2016 at 8 p.m. ET

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

How to Watch: CBS Sports Network

How to Listen: 570 WMCA

St. John's will take the floor in Philadelphia tonight with a chance for a monster opportunity against the number one team in the country, the Villanova Wildcats. The Johnnies will have to play much better than when the team's met at Madison Square Garden earlier in the season, as Chris Mullin's unit had no answer for Josh Hart and company in the second half. While the Red Storm only trailed by one at the break, Villanova was sleep walking offensively and were without their best big man Daniel Ochefu due to a concussion he suffered in practice.

Yankuba Sima, Kassoum Yakwe (who has been playing excellent as of late) and Christian Jones will likely have a difficult time on the glass and they must prevent the Wildcats from converting second chance points.

The Red Storm defense was non-existent in the last two games versus Georgetown and Butler. The guards have been beaten easily off the bounce, but if the Red Storm have any chance to keep this one close, they must do a better job of containing Hart, Jalen Brunson and Ryan Arcidiacono.

Can Jones and Yakwe continue to produce offensively in the painted area?

The start of the game will be key. Is it possible for the Johnnies to knock down some early threes and create some momentum?

How does this inexperienced roster handle the road rigors? This crowd will likely be pumped up due to the ranking ('Nova has never been number one in the country in the program's history..until now).

Pre-game readings:

Preview: St. John's @ Villanova

A closer look at St. John's defense slide

Mullin raves about his team's attitude and work ethic