With Death Lurking, Friars Need a Big Road Win [Game Previews]

dave@friarblog —  February 10th, 2009 7:06 PM
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While it seems like every game the Providence Friars have played over the past month has had the label “most important game of the year”, tonight’s game against South Florida would be absolutely crushing if they were to lose.  NCAA talk aside, if the Friars want to try to get a bye for the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament, they have to win the next two games against these teams in the lower standings in the conference.  And who knows — maybe they can gain some confidence and start playing well before their brutal three game stretch against ND, Pitt, and Louisville.   If the Friars can come out of the next 5 games at 3-2, things might get a little interesting.

It’s definitely not going to be easy though.  As the Friars were gearing up against the likes of Syracuse, UCONN, and Villanova, many had circled USF as a gimmee win, considering their overall record.  However, this is a team that generally plays well on their own home court, and just upset a top-10 ranked Marquette team there last Friday.

INFO

Gametime: 7PM

TV: ESPN Full Court, ESPN360, aka Fuck You Comcast people, you’re not watching!

GAMBLING AND PREDICTIONS

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Ken Pomeroy: USF W, 72-71 (53% confidence)

CBS Sportsline: Providence W, 71-69

In other words, FLIP A COIN! (just kill me now Twoface)

AROUND THE WEB

StatSheet.com Pregame

Friars.com Gamenotes [pdf]

On Tuesday, February 10 the Friars will play at the University of South Florida. The Friars have posted a 4-1 mark all-time versus the Bulls. The Friars are 3-0 at home and 1-1 on the road all-time against
South Florida. The two teams fi rst met on November 26, 2002 with the Bulls earning a 68-64 win at the Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla. The Friars have won the last four contests between the two teams, including an 86-70 win last season at Providence on January 12, 2008. The last time the two teams met in Tampa, PC earned a 77-72 win on February 28, 2007.

Projo Hoops Blog: PC Needs to Shake Slump

With a rotation of only 8 players (7 without Brooks), the Friars are handcuffed. They cannot give guys who are banged up a bit any breaks. The team’s post-season chances – either NCAA or NIT – are hanging in the balance.

PC fans had better not sniff at lowly South Florida. The Bulls were playing teams tough even before they stunned Marquette last Friday. Last time we checked, the Friars failed to pull off a similar upset.

Projo.com: Friars have no time for sun, fun at South Florida

The warm weather may be comforting for Keno Davis and his Providence College basketball team but the Friars clearly have no time for fun in the sun these days. After getting blown out by 27 points (86-59) at West Virginia Saturday, PC’s third straight defeat certainly stung more than the other two. Losing at top-ranked UConn (by an even uglier 33 points) and getting edged at home by No. 13 Villanova was painful enough but compounding that with another sorry defensive effort in Morgantown has the Friars’ first-year coach concerned.

GoUSFBulls.com: Gameday Central: Providence Invades Sun Dome Tuesday Night

Fresh off its upset win vs. No. 8 Marquette, the University of South Florida men’s basketball team remains at home to face Providence on Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. at the Sun Dome.

The game can be seen on ESPN360.com. The game can also be heard on WHNZ 1250 and BullsVision.com, with a live blog available on GoUSFBulls.com.

Bulls Report with Brett McMurphy: Providence “probably biggest game of season”

“I don’t want it to be a ‘Christmas experience’ where it happens once a year and you’re done,” USF coach Stan Heath said. “I want that to be every time we play a really good team we have a really good chance to win and we get our fair share [of wins].”

A victory against the Friars (14-9, 6-5) would give the Bulls (8-14, 3-7 Big East) four Big East wins – they’ve never won more than three – and their first back-to-back wins in Big East play.

“This game will probably be the biggest game of the season,” USF freshman forward Eladio Espinosa said. “Actually it will be ‘the changer.’

The Sports Network: Providence at South Florida

The South Florida Bulls will try to build off their biggest win, as they take on the Providence Friars in Big East play at the Sun Dome tonight.

UPDATE! Listen to KMac’s Audio Preview

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