Tennessee, conversely, has been hot and cold. The Vols are shooting just 25.4 percent from 3-point range, and they're averaging more turnovers (16.5) than assists (13.5) per game. By comparison, Villanova is shooting 30.9 percent from 3 and averaging nearly twice as many assists (17.4) as turnovers (9.2).
Here's another ill omen for the Big Orange. Villanova's Corey Fisher is the kind of quick, penetrating guard that typically gives Tennessee fits. UCLA couldn't contain the 6-1, 185-pounder Wednesday night, sending him to the foul line 15 times. He connected 14 times en route to a game-high 26 points. He's averaging 18.4 points per game.
Backcourt mate Maalik Wayns chipped in 19 points vs. the Bruins. He's a 6-2, 185-pounder who averages 14.6 points and 6.2 assists per game.
The other backcourt guy in Villanova's three-guard lineup is 6-5, 195-pound Corey Stokes. He scored 16 vs. UCLA and is averaging 13.2 points per game on the season.
The Wildcats' frontcourt should be the best Tennessee has faced thus far, as well. Mouphtaou Yarou, a 6-10, 250-pounder, dominated inside vs. UCLA, grabbing 16 rebounds and blocking three shots. He averages 10.0 points and 9.2 rebounds for the season.
Yarou gets plenty of inside help from Antonio Pena, a 6-8, 235-pounder who averages 8.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
Tennessee's best chance to win is to play airtight defense. That strategy worked in the Vols' 77-72 defeat of Virginia Commonwealth in Wednesday's NIT semis, as they limited the Rams to 30.9-percent shooting. For the season Tennessee opponents are averaging just 66.5 points per game and shooting a mere 35.6 percent.
Today's game will be televised by ESPN. UCLA and Virginia Commonwealth meet in the NIT consolation game at 2:30.