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The Marquette Golden Eagles (22-4, 11-2) are all alone atop the Big East, and aren’t looking to change than before heading into their showdown with Villanova next Wednesday. As a result, they need to be on top of their game against the Providence Friars (15-12, 5-9) Saturday afternoon in Providence.
The good news for Marquette is they’ve been excellent all season, especially against teams that aren’t the St. John’s Red Storm. Last time they went to Providence, Markus Howard tied a Big East record (which he would later break) with 52 points.
When the Friars went to Milwaukee to face Marquette earlier this season, Nate Watson and Alpha Diallo both played well, combining for 37 of Providence’s 68 points in their 79-68 loss. The problem? Howard, Sam Hauser, and Joey Hauser combined for 60 of Marquette’s 79. It’s hard to get the job done when three players are carving you up, and that’s a problem so many teams have run into with Marquette this year.
For Providence to pull off the upset, they’ll have to contain two of Howard and the Hausers and get strong performances from Diallo and others. Maybe it’s Watson’s day again, as he’s coming off a 21 point performance in the Friars’ big win over St. John’s. Either way, someone will have to step up.