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GAMEDAY: DePaul at #11 Providence

The Blue Demons have an opportunity on Saturday night to win their third straight game

NCAA Basketball: DePaul at Xavier Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

TV, Times, and Lines:

TV: FS1

Date: Saturday, February 12th

Time: 6:30 p.m. EST

Spread: Providence -9

Total: O/U 133.5


Preview:

In the final game of today’s Big East Saturday, the (12-10, 3-9 Big East) DePaul Blue Demons travel to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center (the Dunk) to play the (20-2, 10-1 Big East) Providence Friars. DePaul is currently on a two-game winning streak, while Providence is riding a seven-game winning streak.

Tonight, the Blue Demons are trying to do something that no other team has been able to do this season — beat the Friars at the Dunk. This will most likely be the third straight game that DePaul has only seven scholarship players available. In the first two games, the Blue Demons won both, including one at Xavier.

The main man last game for DePaul was David Jones. In his second year with the Blue Demons, Jones has blossomed as one of the best players on the team. In Wednesday night’s win against Georgetown, Jones notched 22 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists, which amounted to the first triple-double in DePaul men’s basketball history.

Despite being down 12 against Georgetown in the first half, the Blue Demons dominated the Hoyas. This is in large part due to a 26-0 run that DePaul went on midway through the second half. That 26-0 run DePaul team looked like it could beat pretty much any team in the Big East.

Over the past couple of games, many role players on DePaul have stepped up. Among those are Courvoisier McCauley, who has averaged 17.5 ppg in that span. McCauley has been a huge energy guy for the Blue Demons throughout the year, and he has finally gotten the opportunity to flourish.

Assuming DePaul’s star guard Javon Freeman-Liberty is out for the 7th straight game, the Blue Demons are going to need to continue to have scoring contributions from role players. This has begun to look more and more attainable. After averaging 46.7 ppg in 3 games, DePaul has averaged 75.5 ppg in its last 2 games.

Let’s move on to the (once again) hottest team in the Big East. The Providence Friars currently hold the longest winning streak in the conference of 7 straight wins. After being projected to finish 7th in the Big East preseason poll, coach Cooley’s Friars have been more than impressive.

This Providence team is a very talented, balanced team that has 5 players that can go for 20+ points in a game. Out of those players, the most highly regarded has been 5th year senior Nate Watson. While Cooley has done a great job with the transfer portal, Watson has been a Friar for all 5 seasons of playing at the collegiate level.

The loyalty has paid off. Providence sits atop the Big East right now with a conference record of 10-1. With a huge game coming up this Tuesday against Villanova, the Friars have a legitimate chance to win the Big East regular-season title. But, for now, they have to get past DePaul.

Prediction:

This game screams trap game. The Blue Demons have played at an elite level the past couple of games, and the Friars have a huge game, which could be considered as the Big East game of the year, on Tuesday. With DePaul still being perceived as a bottom-tier team in the conference, it would not be shocking to think that Providence may be overlooking this game a bit. I think that Providence is a great team, but tonight I am picking DePaul to shock the Friars.

DePaul wins, 69-64