Where: CenturyLink Center – Omaha, NE
When: 9:00pm EST
- Providence and Creighton will meet for the 19th time ever on Wednesday. The Friars lead the all-time series, 12-6. Providence is 6-2 all-time against Creighton since the Bluejays joined the Big East conference. The Friars are 4-3 against Creighton in Omaha. Creighton defeated Providence, 78-64, on January 7th at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
- Providence is 2-7 this season on the road against a 13-3 record at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Providence is 4-3 at home in Big East play. The Friars are also 1-1 on neutral courts.
- Providence’s record when unranked against teams ranked in the AP Top 25 is 72-211 all-time. The Friars are 2-6 this season against ranked teams. One win came in the non-conference on December 3rd against then 21st-ranked Rhode Island and the other was on February 11th against then 22nd-ranked Butler. Five of the six losses have come against Big East foes, including two losses to Villanova and a loss to then 10th-ranked Creighton on January 7th.
- Creighton is 22-5 this season, including a 9-5 Big East record. The Bluejays went 1-1 last week with a loss at Seton Hall last Wednesday and a win at home against Georgetown on Sunday. Creighton was picked to finish 3rd in the preseason Big East Coaches’ Poll. The Bluejays are led by Greg McDermott, who is in his 7th season at the helm of the Creighton program. McDermott is on the cusp of his 100th home win as the Creighton head coach. His current home record at Creighton is 99-23. Junior Marcus Foster leads the Bluejays in scoring at 18.6 points/game, which ranks him second in the Big East. Freshman Justin Patton leads the team in rebounding, averaging 6.3 rebounds/game, which ranks him fifth in the Big East.
- Opening Line: Providence +8 at (23) Creighton 2/22/17
Providence is coming down the stretch off two good wins their last two times on the court. The Friars defeated Butler on February 11th in front of a sold out Alumni & Family Weekend crowd at the Dunk and then dispatched Xavier on February 15th at home by 12. The Musketeers were without leading scorer Trevon Bluiett who sat out with an injured ankle but the Friars can’t worry about how a win looks at this time of year. Ed Cooley’s group just needs to keep winning to maintain their NCAA Tournament hopes.
Creighton is a very different team than the last time they squared off against Providence. Mo Watson had a masterful game against the Friars back on January 7th but he suffered a season-ending knee injury shortly after that win at the Dunk. The Bluejays took some time to adjust to life without Watson but Greg McDermott’s group has righted the ship and are currently a half-game behind Butler for second place in the Big East heading into this game against Providence.
The probable starters according to the game notes are:
- Kyron Cartwright – #24 – Junior
- Alpha Diallo – #11 – Freshman
- Jalen Lindsey – #21 – Junior
- Rodney Bullock – #5 – Junior
- Kalif Young – #13 – Freshman
- Davion Mintz – #1 – Freshman
- Marcus Foster – #0 – Junior
- Khyri Thomas – #2 – Sophomore
- Cole Huff – #13 – Senior
- Justin Patton – #23 – Freshman
The keys to victory for Providence are mainly on the defensive end of the floor. The Friars need to slow down Justin Patton and Marcus Foster. Patton is a load with nimble feet that could be a matchup problem for both Emmitt Holt and Kalif Young. It wouldn’t hurt to also get Jalen Lindsey some clean looks from beyond the arc. Getting hot from 3-point range can be a key ingredient in an upset road win. Look for Providence to mix and match zone and man-to-man defenses throughout the night and try to get Holt some touches going right at Patton.
Prediction: Providence 74 (23) Creighton 73
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