Wednesday, February 04, 2009


February 4, 2009

Providence College will host the Villanova Wildcats in a Big East conference match-up tonight at the Dunkin Donuts Center. This game will be a moment of truth of sorts for the Friars, who stand at 6-3 in conference play, but are coming off a 94-61 pummelling at the hands of UConn over the weekend.

The Wildcats have won three in a row, including a victory over Pitt last Wednesday in the finale of the Spectrum in Philadelphia. Villanova is now 5-3 in the Big East and looking to put some seperation between themselves and the crowded middle of the pack, and this pushing the Friars closer to conference mediocrity.

Here are some pregame stories and previews found on the internet:

'V' is for a Villanova Team that is Very Tough to Beat (Philadelphia Daily News)
Villanova is PC's Next Big East Challenge (Providence Journal)
Capsule Preview: Villanova at Providence College (Providence Journal)

Before their home win over a crippled Syracuse squad last week, the best win registered by the Friars game against in-state rival Rhode Island from the Atlantic 10. Their best Big East win was their road victory over Cincinnati, a team that 'Nova decimated themselves this past Sunday.

The Friars desperately want to be included in the NCAA Tournament talk and their 6-3 Big East record might have some talking in that manner. However, their lack of out of conference quality wins will force games like this one to be a must-win.

The Wildcats are playing well, especially on the defensive end, and Corey Fisher is becoming a more consistent weapon on both ends of the court. The 'Nova defense will pressure the PC guards, who can be shaky with the ball and their decision making is not always the best. This strategy is usully used for Villanova to cover their lack of strength in the paint, but led by Dante Cunningham and Antonio Pena, Villanvoa matches up favorable with the Friar frontcourt.

The college basketball betting odds have 'Nova listed as a 3 1/2-point favorite on the road. They are the better team and their match-up should allow them to get the job done in this contest.

NBE Blogger Prediction:

Villanova 75
Providence 68



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