All eyes will be on the Big East Tuesday night when the #10 Villanova Wildcats (19-6, 12-3 Big East) visit the #8 Providence Friars (21-2, 11-1 Big East) for their first meeting of the year between the top two teams in the standings. The Wildcats roll into the showdown riding a three-game winning streak, while the Friars have cruised to eight in a row.
Tuesday’s top-10 contest tips off at 8 p.m. EST inside the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. Villanova is a 4.5-point road favorite, and the over-under total is at 130.5 points.
What to Know – Villanova Wildcats
The Wildcats are a half-game back of the Friars in the Big East standings and can close the gap with a win Tuesday night. Villanova picked up victories over St. John’s and Seton Hall last week.
On offense, Villanova averages 73.1 points per game and shoots 44.0% from the field and 35.9% from the 3-point line. The Wildcats’ defense surrenders 62.2 points per game, 40.5% shooting from the floor, and 31.6% shooting from the arc.
Justin Moore and Jermaine Samuels combined to score 16 points apiece, and the Wildcats pulled away in the second half for a 73-67 victory over the Pirates on Saturday. All five starters for Villanova scored in double figures. The Wildcats shot 41.7% from the field and turned the ball over just eight times.
Villanova is 13-11-1 against the spread this year and 5-6-1 in road contests. The Wildcats are 5-2 ATS over their previous seven games against Providence.
What to Know – Providence Friars
Providence enters the week as one of the hottest teams in college hoops, winners of their last eight games, and jumped all the way to #2 in the country. The Friars now set their sights on locking up the Big East regular-season title and a potential top-seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Friars score 70.9 points per game, connecting on 44.1% from the floor and 34.6% from deep. Providence limits its opponents to 64.6 points per game, 40.6% shooting from the field, and 31.2% shooting from three.
DePaul gave Providence a scare, but the Friars pulled out a 76-73 overtime home victory over the weekend. Jared Bynum came off the bench to provide the spark Providence needed, pouring in game-high 25 points. The Friars got a pair of 16-point efforts from Nate Watson and Al Durham in the victory.
Providence sports a 14-9 record ATS with an even 7-7 mark ATS at home. The Friars 5-2 ATS over their last seven games played in February, but 2-6 ATS in their previous eight games played on Tuesday.
The Pick is In
The Wildcats and Friars present the Game of the Day in college basketball as these two top-10 teams square off. Villanova’s efficient offense will test the Friars’ defense, and the talent disparity between the two schools will be on display. Providence has had a strong run over the last month, but the winning streak ends tonight at the hands of Villanova.
Betting Pick: Villanova Wildcats -4