The Big East/Big 12 Battle continues on Wednesday night as Providence travels to Fort Worth to face off with TCU.
The Friars are 3-2 on the year, having alternated wins and losses in every game so far. Luckily that trend has had them winning more than they’re losing, but they’re still seeking some consistency. They defeated Fairfield, Davidson and Fairleigh Dickinson and were defeated by Indiana and Alabama. Granted, it’s not great that they’ve yet to pick up a real quality win yet, but the win over the Wildcats was at least a Top 100 KenPom victory.
Meanwhile TCU is on the heels of their first loss of the season. The Horned Frogs ate an 82-78 defeat to Oklahoma, who’ll coincidentally be facing the Xavier Musketeers this evening. TCU was 4-0 going into that game against OU, with wins over Houston Baptist, Tulsa, Liberty and Northwestern State.
The matchup to watch for in this game will be on the interior. Providence has shot the ball well on 2-point attempts, making 55.8 percent of their tries inside this season. The Horned Frogs’ defense has been pretty average at defending the 2-point shot meanwhile. TCU’s allowed 50.8 percent of all 2-point tries to be made against them. That number is 1.5 percent better than the D1 average. Given that the Friars have struggled mightily from the perimeter, and given that TCU has hounded teams outside thus far, this will be the biggest game within the game. Whether Providence is able to tackle TCU’s interior defense and score at will could go a long way to determining if they are to win.
Another aspect to watch is free throw shooting. TCU hasn’t gotten too many opportunities from the line in their first five games. When they have, they’ve shot the ball poorly. Jamie Dixon’s Horned Frogs have posted a mark of 63.6 percent from the line, ranking 223rd in the nation. Comparatively, Ed Cooley’s Friars have posted great numbers from the line. Not only are they getting to the line a lot — a FTRate of 44.7 percent, 35th in the country — they’ve made the most of their tries. They’ve shot 74 percent from the line, ranking 80th in the country and 3rd in the Big East behind St. John’s and Creighton.
How to Watch
Time: 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT
Watch Online: WatchESPN
Spread: TCU -1.5
Moneyline: Providence +100 | TCU -118