Teams: Providence (17-10; 7-7) vs. Butler (12-12; 2-12)
Day: Sunday, February 23 Time: 6:00 PM ET
Location: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
-The Friars lost in a thrilling double-overtime game against the number nine team in the country, Villanova. Providence had a big lead in the beginning, but the Wildcats came back to tie it up at the half. Both teams played well and evenly in the first overtime, and Bryce Cotton, who had 22 points, seven rebounds and nine assists in the game, had a key layup which tied it in the first OT. In the second OT, Cotton came through again in the clutch, tying the game. Villanova was able to get a key shot from Ryan Arcidiacono, who had 21 points and six assists in the contest, which gave them the lead and from there they were able to control the game. Providence played well in this game and had more assists and rebounds, plus a better three point and free throw percentage than Nova, which made this a very unfortunate loss.
- Butler lost to a hot St.John’s team by a large margin at the prestigious, Madison Square Garden. In the beginning of the game, St.John’s did not look like their recent self, the reason for that being the injury of Chris Obekpa. Khyle Marshall was able tear through their interior defense, scoring 16 points in the game. Butler played a pretty good first half, but played very inefficiently the rest of the contest. Khyle Marshall didn’t score any points after his great first half and Kellen Dunham, one of Butler’s best, shot a mere 5-12 from the field. In addition, besides Dunham and Marshall no other player on the Bulldogs scored more than four points. This was a bad game for Butler and it kinda felt like "deja vu all over again".
Two Keys to the Game:
-Providence’s clutch ability
Providence usually has a lot of things going for them, but something important in their last game was Bryce Cotton’s clutchness. They might not need him to be clutch in this game, but if they do they can count on him to make a difference.
-Butler's offensive efficiency
Butler's offensive efficiency was very poor in their last game, 76.5 points per 100 possessions. The Bulldogs will need to step it up and make the most out of each and every position if they want to beat Providence. Prediction: Providence 73, Butler 66