The Friars are traveling the up to New York to play St. Johns at Madison Square Garden. Providence is going into this game following Kris Dunn's performance to become one of nine players in the history of their program to record a triple- double. They beat DePaul at home, which, anyone who follows the Big East could have predicted, but St. Johns is coming off a disappointing loss to Creighton and to the Duke Blue Devils.
Here are the biggest storylines going into the game.
1. Both teams' recent history
Over the past two years, both teams have beaten each other on the road and not at home. Last year when these two played in Queens, it was a double overtime thriller in which Bryce Cotton won the game on a buzzer-beater with a drive to the basket. I expect a similar game at The Garden because Providence is going to try to redeem themselves after getting blown out by the Johnnies in Providence. They shot 56% from three and had a better three point field goal percentage than their actual field goal percentage. Every single starter besides Chris Obekpa had 18 points or more and St. John's showed they have enough offensive weapons to occupy the city of Providence. Look for this game to be a lot more competitive than their last matchup, and, at The Garden something amazing always seems to happen.
2. Kris Dunn's ability to get better game by game
After Dunn's last performance against DePaul I was convinced that he is, without question, the best point guard in the conference. He finished with 27 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists ,and was the best player on the court as well. NBA scouts have to be taking notice of these performances because he has scored twenty points or more in the past 3 games. I knew that Dunn was going to be good this year, but no one could have expected him to play this well this quickly after hardly playing in his first two seasons at Providence. Hopefully Kris all be able to continue his fantastic performances against St. John's in his first game at Madison Sqaure Garden.
3. This is a must win for St. John's
Although they had a good game against Duke, a loss to Creighton regardless of location this year is a terrible loss to have come tournament time. Two losses in a row is not that big of a deal, but losing three games in a row will have a huge impact on the mentality of a team. Two Big East loses in a row will make St. John's road to the big dance a lot more difficult and they will need to shoot well from the three point line and charity strike to snap the losing streak.