After a big win over Villanova last week, the Providence Friars came out and fell flat on their face in a 75-68 loss to Xavier at home. It was the first matchup between two top 10 teams at home for Providence, but sadly the Friars failed to show up as Ed Cooley's team suffered their 4th loss of the season. After going down big in the first half, Providence fought back thanks to the duo of Ben Bentil and Kris Dunn. The loss puts Providence at 17-4 overall with a 5-3 conference record, good for 4th in the BIG EAST. Now Providence faces a tough test as they face a Georgetown team that has picked up their feet as of late. Things don't get any easier for Providence after this game as they face 'Nova and G-Town again in a few weeks.
After a slow start to the season including some baffling losses in nonconference play, the Georgetown Hoyas have picked themselves up and are beginning to look like a real threat in the BIG EAST. After their loss to UConn last week, Georgetown bounced back with a 74-73 win that was filled with controversy. It took a late surge from the Hoyas but they got it done and it was capped off by two free throws by D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera with 6.2 seconds left. Georgetown now find themselves 3rd in the BIG EAST standings. The Hoyas have bounced back and are starting to look like a pretty scary team to mess with. But they still have their inconsistencies. Losing to UNC-Asheville does that to you.
After this game, Providence will face DePaul and Villanova next week.
Georgetown will face Butler and Seton Hall next week.
How to watch, listen, or stream
Game time: 8 p.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: WEEI 103.7 FM (Providence) || WJFK 106.7 FM The Fan (Georgetown)
Streaming: Streaming is available on Fox Sports Go where available
Odds : Georgetown comes into the game as a 2.5 point favorite (via Oddsshark)
Record ATS : Providence (12-8) || Georgetown (11-10)
O/U : The O/U opened at 137
3 things to watch for
1. Can D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera steal the show?
Kris Dunn is the best point guard out of both teams, but DSR can easily steal the show with a big performance. He scored 19 against Creighton including the game-winning free throws. He is the key to the Georgetown offense as he scored just 12 and 15 points in their losses to UConn and Villanova. If DSR doesn't have a big game, it will be tough for Georgetown.
2. Can Providence start off on the right foot?
Providence made it a game against Xavier in the second half, but a disappointing first half was what doomed the Friars. Providence can't keep playing catch up and expecting Dunn and Bentil to pull them out of any hole. Providence has to start on the right foot and not allow Georgetown's shooters to get hot quickly. A spirited comeback could work against some of the lesser teams but against some of the better teams it probably won't.
3. Battle for 3rd in the BIG EAST standings
With Xavier facing DePaul this week, this is essentially the battle for third place in the BIG EAST standings. Both teams have neck and neck in the standings and it is likely that this battle will last till tournament time. If Providence wants a shot at getting 3rd in the BIG EAST they have to win this game. Georgetown can pull away from the Friars with a win.