How to watch or listen
Game Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: CBS Sports Network
Radio: WEEI 103.7 FM
No live stream available for this telecast.
The Friars and Cavaliers have met six times previously entering this matchup on Saturday night. The series is split down the middle at three games apiece. The Friars won last time around back in February 2005 and currently hold a two-game win streak over UVA.
Spread: Virginia opened as a 13.5-point favorite. The line dropped down to 12.
Records ATS: Virginia (4-0) | Providence (3-2)
Providence and Virginia will be vying for the Emerald Coast Classic Championship after both teams won their semifinal matchups over Memphis and Iowa respectively. This is the fourth consecutive year that the Friars have made a championship game of a preseason tournament and they’ll be looking to make like 2014 when they won the Hall of Fame Tipoff with a victory over Notre Dame. Last season, they were taken down by Denzel Valentine and the Michigan State Spartans in the Wooden Legacy final.
Three Things to Watch
Tempo, tempo, tempo
The Friars and Cavaliers aren’t known for their speed on the court. Thus far Providence’ Adjusted Tempo, per KenPom, ranks 291st in the country while Virginia’s lands all the way at the bottom. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, high volume of possession game you might want to look elsewhere because the Friars and Cavaliers won’t be running up and down the court.
Can the Friars crack the code?
Virginia’s defense, as usual, has been exceptional to start the year. The Cavaliers are allowing 39.2 points per game on average this season including three outings of less than 40 points. Providence’s offense hasn’t been incredibly high scoring this year but they will certainly be facing their toughest defensive challenge yet. Whether they crack the code of one of the elite defenses in the nation will certainly decide the winner in this one.
And conversely, will Virginia be able to crack the code?
While the competition hasn’t been the fiercest, Providence’s defense has taken tremendous strides and has looked exceptional at times this season. The Friars aren’t yielding many points either, just an average of 56.6 per game so far, and they’ve been stout along the perimeter. Teams have shot 23.5 percent against the Friars this season from long range, and that includes an outing of 33.3 percent by Ohio State, the toughest team that Providence has played to date. Virginia has shot 37.1 percent from the 3-point line this season, so we’ll see if the Friars can play up to par against a good 3-point shooting team.