The Big East enters its second to last weekend of regular season play on Saturday but two teams will get Friday night to themselves in the conference tomorrow when Providence travels to play at Seton Hall. The Friars are playing to stay above .500 and get revenge against a Pirates team that took down Providence in overtime when these two got together the first time in Rhode Island. Despite just a 5-10 conference mark and not much to play for besides Big East Conference Tournament positioning, Seton Hall has opened up as a 2.5-point favorite in Vegas.
Providence does not play with much of a rotation. It didn’t two years ago, it didn’t last year and it really isn’t doing much to change that this year. All five of Providence’s starters have logged heavy, heavy minutes all season and the wear and tear might be beginning to show. Five of Providence’s seven conference losses have come in its last eight games, including four of its last five. Batts, Henton, Cotton and Fortune all logged at least 36 minutes in their last game – a road win against Butler. The fatigue factor is concerning for a Providence team that has been very up and down away from home all season. The Friars do have impressive road performances, including wins at St. John’s and the Butler game of late. They have also played Xavier tough and took UMass to overtime just before Big East play. It will be curious to see how the Friars come out against a Seton Hall team that has caught a couple of teams off-guard this season as a Big East spoiler.
After a dominant home win over Georgetown a week ago, Seton Hall dropped two straight on the road, a one-point loss to Creighton and a five-point loss at the hands of Depaul. The Pirates have been showing some life lately and pack some offensive punch with four players in double-figures led by Fuquan Edwin with over 15 points per game At home, the ever-improving Seton Hall team must get the nod as the better side in this one. That’s not even considering the potentially tired legs of a Providence team that is always a bit of an adventure away from home.
Chock this one up for the home side. Look for Seton Hall to run all night and get the better of a Providence team that might slip up in a tough road spot.
Free Pick: Seton Hall -2.5