The Providence Friars are reeling and it's not pretty. After a gritty 73-69 win over Georgetown four games ago, the Friars have lost every game since. It started with a major letdown against DePaul, and then losses to Villanova and Marquette (in double overtime) put the Friars in a very tough position. The loss to Marquette, which extended the Friars losing streak in Milwaukee, dropped Providence to 18-7 and now they find themselves in 6th place in the BIG EAST standings with a 6-6 conference record. The tricky part is that Providence still has a very good resume as wins over Arizona, Butler twice, and Villanova all are good for the Friars but their recent slide should drop them in the seeding if the NCAA Tournament started today.
It also doesn't help that their best player in Ben Bentil is was hobbling from an ankle injury suffered against DePaul, and wasn't much of a factor against Villanova. Bentil had a career-high 42 points against Marquette, however it wasn't enough for the Friars. To compound things, Kris Dunn has been in a bit of a slump. Dunn and Bentil are great together and those two alone have helped Providence win many of their games, but their supporting cast needs to step up big time and they haven't done that so far. This is a very scary time for Providence.
Meanwhile, it was a relief game on Monday for the Georgetown Hoyas as they beat St.John's 92-67 to snap a three game losing streak and get just their second win in their last six games. It was a win that Georgetown needed as they gained some confidence back as they attempt to gain some late season momentum heading into the BIG EAST tournament. The losing streak set the Hoyas back, but a win over Providence could change things. Georgetown currently sit 5th in the conference standings and with a record of 14-11 and a conference record of 7-5. They are right above of Providence and could jump some spots if Creighton loses against Marquette.
After this game Providence will play Xavier and Seton Hall on the road next week. Georgetown will also play Seton Hall and Xavier next week. Yikes.
How to watch, listen, or stream
Game time: Noon ET
Radio: WEEI 103.7 FM (Providence) || WJFK 106.7 FM The Fan
Stream: Streaming is available via Fox Sports Go where available
Odds: Providence enters this game as a 4 point favorite (via Oddsshark.com)
Record ATS: Providence (13-11) || Georgetown (12-13)
O/U: The O/U opened at 141
3 things to watch
1. The impact of Ben Bentil
Bentil exploded against Marquette as he scored 42 points but you have to wonder about how the ankle injury is affecting him. While it didn't seem to be affecting him against the Golden Eagles, we can't be certain it won't show up against Georgetown. He leads the team (and the BIG EAST) in scoring with 20.6 points per game, and leads the team in field goal percentage shooting 47.2% from the field. Bentil has been the main man for Providence and he will have to make a major impact in this game for the Friars to win.
2. Can Georgetown keep up the hot shooting?
G-Town shot fantastically from the field against St. John's, shooting 54.2%. Granted the Providence defense will be tougher than the St. John's defense, but Georgetown has enough shooters to shot a good percentage from the field. For a team that relies on outside shooting as much as Georgetown, it is essential that they shoot well.
3. Who needs this game more?
Providence needs this game to stop a major slide and avoid a huge crisis while Georgetown are fighting to climb back into the NCAA tournament discussion. This will be an all out war.