Where: Dunkin’ Donuts Center – Providence, RI
When: 4:00pm EST
- Providence and Marquette will meet for the 24th time ever on Saturday. The Golden Eagles lead the all-time series, 16-7. The Friars are 4-4 against Marquette in Providence. Providence got their first ever win over Marquette in Milwaukee earlier this season when the Friars managed to hold onto a lead and beat the Golden Eagles, 79-78, on January 28th.
- Providence is 3-7 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.
- Marquette is 17-10 this season, including an 8-7 Big East record. The Golden Eagles are 1-0 this week with a win at home against St. John’s in their last game on Tuesday. Marquette was picked to finish 7th in the preseason Big East Coaches’ Poll. The Golden Eagles are led by Steve Wojciechowski, who is in his 3rd season at the helm of the Marquette program. Freshman Markus Howard leads the Golden Eagles in scoring at 12.5 points/game, which ranks him 21st in the Big East. Senior Luke Fischer leads the team in rebounding, averaging 6.2 rebounds/game, which ranks him seventh in the Big East.
- Opening Line: Providence -2 vs Marquette 2/25/17
Providence enters Saturday’s game with Marquette on a 3-game winning streak and they could have probably flown home just on the excitement from Kyron Cartwright’s game-winning three ball to notch a Top 25 win against the Creighton Bluejays in Omaha. The Friars are hot and in hot pursuit of a fourth-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. With three games remaining on the schedule, including two at the friendly confines of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, the Friars have a legitimate chance to accomplish the aforementioned streak of appearances in the NCAA Tournament. It would be the first time in school history that’s happened. Saturday’s game against Marquette has already been reported as a sell out, but you can still attempt to find tickets on the secondary market.
Marquette has been an up-and-down team for most of the Big East season. Sitting at 8-7 and two spots ahead of Providence in 4th place in the league standings, the Golden Eagles are attempting to get their first 3-game winning streak in Big East play by stopping the Friars’. Steve Wojciechowski’s team has one of toughest — maybe THE toughest — finishes to the Big East season with this game on the road against Providence followed by a road trip to Cincinnati to take on Xavier and then they return home to finish up against Creighton. Wojo has deployed a very different starting lineup over the last two games with essentially 3 guards, a wing and one big man. The result has been two victories while averaging 88 points/game in wins over Xavier and St. John’s. Freshman point guard Markus Howard is the real deal and is shooting an absurd 54.1% from beyond the arc on 122 attempts.
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
- Markus Howard – #0 – Freshman
- Duane Wilson – #1 – Junior
- Andrew Rowsey – #30 – Junior
- Sam Hauser – #10 – Freshman
- Matt Heldt – #12 – Sophomore
The keys to victory for Providence are to running smartly with Kyron Cartwright speeding up the tempo when Providence has the ball and the Friars must make Marquette uncomfortable shooting the ball from downtown. Cartwright has been very good during the Friars’ 3-game winning streak. He’s averaging 14.7 points/game, 7.3 assists/game against just 1.3 turnovers/game while shooting 45.4% from 3-point range. The Friars will also have an advantage down low whenever Marquette has their smaller starting lineup on the floor so look for Cartwright to also feed Emmitt Holt and Rodney Bullock inside the foul line. That starting lineup, as well as some of Marquette’s key reserves, are adept at shooting the long ball. The Golden Eagles are 1st in the nation in 3-Point % at 41.9%, per Kenpom.com. Providence has been good at defending out to the 3-point line and they’ll have to be focused on that all day Saturday if they want to keep their winning streak alive.
Prediction: Providence 71 Marquette 69
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