TV Schedule: Tuesday, Jan. 5, 7:00 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
Arena: Dunkin Donuts Center
Line: Providence (-9.5)
The Providence Friars have been one of the early surprises of the 2015-16 college basketball season, and have won eight straight games en route to a well-deserved spot in the top 10. There will be no time for this team to take their foot off the gas, however, as the Friars participate in one of the most difficult all-around conferences in the country, the Big East, and face potential NCAA tournament opponents nearly every game.
Next up for the Friars is a home matchup with the pesky Marquette Golden Eagles, who have already knocked off several solid teams this season.
The Golden Eagles have lost both of their opening games to start Big East play and will be desperate for a road win as they head into Dunkin Donuts Center. Their offense, led by Luke Fischer and Henry Ellenson, has looked fantastic at times this season, but seems to struggle against above average opposition. Defense has been a major problem for this team; expect that to remain the case Tuesday night.
Providence should win this game easily behind the play of one the two best players in the country, Kris Dunn, as well as their defense that recently held the high-flying Butler Bulldogs to just 73 points on the road. Marquette is a talented team that should be able to work their way into the NIT conversation, but they are not a legitimate national title contender like the Friars.
The future may be bright for Marquette, but the present is bright for Providence.
Prediction: Providence 83, Marquette 70