The Golden Eagles are entering with a four-game winning streak, most recently beating the Georgetown Hoyas.
Meanwhile, the Friars are coming off of their first win in conference play, taking down Seton Hall.
How To watch, listen, and stream
Game Time: Sunday, January 19, 2019, at 12 p.m. ET
TV: CBS Sports Network (Carter Blackburn, Pete Gillen, Melanie Collins)
RADIO: ESPN Milwaukee 94.5 FM/540 AM (Marquette), WPRO-630 AM/99.7 FM (Providence)
Live Stream: CBSSN Live (Where Available)
According to KenPom, Marquette is a 77 percent favorite to win on Sunday, predicting a final score of 74-66 in favor of the Golden Eagles.
The Golden Eagles hold a 17-9 edge in the all-time series with the Friars.
Last season, they split both regular season games. First, Marquette squeezed out a 95-90 overtime win at the Dunk on Jan. 3, 2018. The Friars came back a month later and also won a close battle on the road, beating Marquette 77-75.
What to Watch For
Dwyane Wade Day!
The D-Wade retirement tour is taking a quick stop in Milwaukee, where one of Marquette’s most finest athletes will be honored. Wade will be back in his hometown in nearby Chicago, for a game against the Bulls on Saturday night, so the timing is just right.
Wade attended Marquette from 2000-03, playing in just his sophomore and junior years--before forgoing his senior year to enter the NBA Draft. Despite playing for two seasons, Wade amassed 1,281 points. He garnered widespread media buzz, especially during his junior year, when he was named Conference-USA Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, earn first team All-America honors, averaged 21.5 points per game, and helped take the Golden Eagles to their first Final Four appearance since 1977.
Against the top-seeded Kentucky Wildcats in the Elite Eight, he dominated with a triple-double en route to Midwest Regional MVP honors, as Marquette celebrated an 83-69 victory.
Since then, Wade has enjoyed a Hall of Fame career in the NBA. He was selected fifth overall in the 2003 NBA Draft and has played for Cleveland, Chicago, and most notably, Miami. He has three NBA championships to his name, with one Finals MVP.
CBS Sports Network has announced that it will be airing the halftime ceremony for D-Wade, so if you can’t make it to the Fiserv Forum--don’t worry!
Monitoring Markus Howard
The Friars will have their work cut out for them, when they head into the Fiserv Forum. Marquette is still perfect at home, boasting a 12-0 record, with an average margin of victory of 22.8 points playing there.
On the bright side, the Friars might find comfort in knowing that Markus Howard is listed as questionable for Sunday. The Big East’s leading scorer played just three minutes in the Golden Eagles’ previous game against Georgetown earlier this week. On Friday, head coach Steve Wojciechowski revealed that he and Ed Morrow (ankle) are still receiving treatment and their statuses were unknown heading into the weekend.
If Howard is indeed out, that will be one huge weapon and another shooter that Providence won’t need to worry about. However, if there’s one thing we learned on Tuesday, it’s that Sam Hauser has no problem being the main man. He enjoyed a career night against the Hoyas, in Howard’s absence, finishing with 31 points and eight boards. Aside from Hauser, he got great support from Sacar Anim, Theo John, and Joey Hauser--as well as a solid bench performance from Brendan Bailey--as they spread around the damage. Any “one-man show” narratives went out the window after that Georgetown game.
After three-straight losses to begin conference play, a streak that was topped off by a double-overtime heartbreaker to Georgetown, the Friars were finally able to win their first Big East game of the year--a 72-63 win over Seton Hall. The Friars were able to minimize and slow down Big East Player of the Year contender Myles Powell, who only had 12 points on 4-of-15 shooting. It’s not going to get easier for Providence, who now has two games in some of the toughest places to play in the Big East. First, there’s Marquette on Sunday, then a road trip to the Cintas Center on Wednesday for a game with Xavier. Can Providence build off of that win and sustain some momentum?
If Markus Howard is playing, there’s no doubt he will be a focal point for the Friars. However, as good as Howard as been, he’s not superhuman. Putting aside the Georgetown game, where he obviously only played three minutes, Howard has been grounded before. He was a non-factor in Marquette’s loss to St. John’s, where Justin Simon did an excellent job of holding him to eight points--the only time he has scored below double digits all season. Providence is a defensive-leaning team, and Ed Cooley’s physical brand of tough basketball has been the Friars’ modus operandi, especially on that end of the court. Marquette loves to shoot the three-ball, it’s no secret, and over the last five games Providence has done a good job of limiting opponents. During this stretch, opponents have shot a combined 39-of-115 (33.9 percent) from long range.
Zooming in on more of an individual look than a team-wide focus for the Friars, Alpha Diallo has been the leading man offensively for Providence, but the team was sure happy to see David Duke Jr. finding a rhythm again. Duke, who was named the preseason Big East Freshman of the Year--splitting the honors with Villanova’s Jahvon Quinerly--went cold for the last two months. Since a promising early 20-point game against South Carolina on Nov. 17, Duke was stuck in a slump. His offensive rating sunk, his shooting percentages weren’t that great, and there was only one game post-Thanksgiving where he scored in double digits (11 points vs. Creighton). In Providence’s last outing with Seton Hall, he had 18 points and was a perfect 3-for-3 from long range. He looked comfortable and confident. If that game was truly a sign that he was turning a corner and getting out of the slump, that would be huge for a Friar team that’s looking for sustainable scoring outside of Diallo and while A.J. Reeves is sidelined.