The #9 Providence Friars (24-3, 14-2 Big East) begin the month of March with a top-25 battle against the #11 Villanova Wildcats (21-7, 14-4 Big East). Tuesday’s battle features the top two teams in the Big East standings. Providence and Villanova met in mid-February in an 89-84 battle won by the Wildcats.
Tuesday’s tip-off is at 6:30 p.m. EST inside the Finneran Pavilion in Villanova, PA. Villanova is a 9-point favorite, and the over-under total is at 134.5 points. We should be in for a close and exciting basketball match!
What to Know – Providence Friars
Providence wraps up its regular season on the road against the Wildcats, with the Big East regular-season already clinched. The Friars picked up their third victory in a row over the weekend against Creighton to capture the title for the first time.
The Friars are tied at the bottom of the league scoring 67.5 points per game. Providence ranks in the lower half of the conference in field goal (41.3%) and 3-point field goal (34.1%) percentage. Defense is the key to Providence’s success, leading the Big East, limiting opponents to 63.3 points per game, 39.4% shooting from the field, and 31.8% shooting from the arc.
A.J. Reeves scored 23 points to lead the Friars to a 72-51 rout of the Blue Jays on Saturday. Nate Watson and Al Durham added 12 points apiece for the Friars.
Providence is 16-11 against the spread and 6-2 ATS on the road. The Friars are 2-6 ATS over their last eight matchups against the Wildcats.
What to Know – Villanova Wildcats
A devastating loss to UConn last week dashed Villanova’s chances of the Big East crown. The Wildcats have a pair of conference contests left before the conference tournament and can improve their NCAA seeding ending the regular season with two victories.
Villanova is eighth in conference averaging 70.8 points per game, shooting 41.3% from the floor and 31.5% from deep. The Wildcats’ defense surrenders 66.9 points per game, holding teams to 41.9% from the floor and 31.8% from three.
Four players scored in double-figures and the Wildcats 44.4% of their shots from deep, but Villanova stumbled on the road to the Huskies, 71-69. Villanova had a four-point lead with 35 seconds remaining and the ball. Collin Gillespie led the Wildcats with 17 points, and Brandon Slater chipped in 15.
The Wildcats are 14-12-2 ATS and 7-5 ATS on their home floor. Villanova is 4-1 ATS in its previous five home Tuesday contests.
The Pick is In
Villanova has had nearly a week to rest and put a game plan together to attack the Friars’ tenacious defense. Providence has just one road loss this season and can cap a historic season, potentially winning their fifth straight conference road game. The Wildcats bounce back and head into their season finale with a win, but expect the Friars to keep it close.
Betting Pick: Providence Friars +9 points