The Golden Eagles are traveling to Providence to take on the Friars, and are trying to salvage as much confidence as possible before heading into the Big East Tournament. They sit dead last in the Big East standings and it seems that Marquette's only chance of getting into the NCAA Tournament, is to win four consecutive games in Madison Square Garden. Providence, on the other hand, are one of the four guaranteed Big East teams to play in the Big Dance, but suffered a disappointing loss against Villanova their last time out. Providence needs to win this game in order to get a high seed in the Big East Tournament, and Marquette is trying to get as many wins as possible before their season ends.
1. How will Kris Dunn and LaDontae Henton respond after their disappointing play against Villanova?
Kris Dunn and LaDonate Henton are not just the best players on Providence, they are the two best players in the conference and are one of the most dangerous duos in college basketball. The day before Providence played Villanova, they cracked the AP Top 25 for the first time in over a decade, got a verbal commitment from Ricky Council, and, former Friar Bryce Cotton signed a ten day contract with the Utah Jazz. It was a great day, but the Friars followed by getting blown out at Villanova by almost thirty points. That is inexcusable from a ranked team except when you play Kentucky at Rupp Arena (which the Friars already did). LaDontae and Kris only combined for 18 points and Kris single handedly had six turnovers throughout the duration of the game. They just need to simply play better than that, but they play the worst team in the conference at home, which will give them a chance to get back on track.
2. What can Marquette do to possibly do possible end the season on a positive note?
The Marquette players have two questions facing them: Should we fold and look forward to next year? Or, should we play as hard as we can to finish the year on a high note? They can do either or, but their season is likely going to end when Marquette loses to Villanova in the first round of the Big East Tournament. I am hoping to see a fairly competitive game when they play Providence, but there is little to no reason for any optimism considering they have lost 10 of their last eleven games. It is unfortunate, but every single program has rebuilding years and this is clearly one for Marquette. They have one of the best recruiting classes in the country coming next year and will have one of the country's best freshman in Henry Ellenson.
3. Who would you bet on to win the game?
I believe that Providence is going to blow the Golden Eagles out of the gym after their disappointing loss at Villanova. Kris Dunn and Ladontae Henton don't often have two bad games in a row and I expect a similar performance to their matchup at DePaul. Providence just has too many weapons for Marquette to win a game on the road.