Naturally, that journey will carry them into a matchup with the reigning Big East regular season champions: The Villanova Wildcats. The Wildcats will face off with the Friars at Madison Square Garden on Thursday afternoon.
‘Nova isn’t riding as highly as they’ve been grown accustomed to lately as they head into this quarterfinal matchup. The Wildcats were once 10-0 in Big East play, but finished 3-5 the rest of the way to go 13-5. That was enough for them to sneak by the Marquette Golden Eagles to earn the 1 seed in the Big East Tourney, but obviously they would’ve liked to have been more successful.
These two teams are no strangers to one another in the Big East Tournament. They have met in three of the last four editions of the tourney, including in last year’s final. Villanova has owned the Friars though, posting wins in each previous matchup. The Wildcats will be favored, but Providence did look very sharp in their win over Butler. And hey, if they catch ‘Nova on a bad day, of which there’ve been many, then perhaps they can turn the tide and earn that elusive win over Villanova.
The Friars got tremendous production on Wednesday night from the likes of Maliek White, who blazed the nets for 19 points. He was 3-for-6 from 3-point land and 5-for-5 on his 2-point tries, as well. Alpha Diallo had 18 points, David Duke had 16 and Isaiah Jackson gave them 13 off the bench. We’ll see how each of these four can build off such strong performances. Especially so in the case of White.
HOW TO WATCH
Time: Noon ET
Watch Online: Fox Sports Go