Well this is it folks. If the Friars want any chance of staying on the bubble, tomorrow’s game versus Notre Dame is the first with “Must win” status. Even more importantly, I am going to the RAC for the Rutgers game next weekend, and I want it to mean something damnit! I don’t get to go to many games, so I hope to at least have something extra to cheer for while I attempt to hide from the ghost of Herve Lamizana.
Both teams need this game to keep their tournament chances afloat.
BUBBLE GAMES TO WATCH
Notre Dame at Providence
This might be a bubble elimination game in the Big East. Notre Dame seemed to inject some life into its postseason chances last week with a 90-57 rout of Louisville and 67-57 victory over South Florida. But then the Fighting Irish lost at West Virginia 79-68 on Wednesday night, dropping their record to 5-8 in Big East play.
Notre Dame can’t afford another loss, and the Friars need to win a game like this one to prove they belong among the other Big East teams contending for at-large bids. Providence is 8-6 in Big East play, but only one of its victories came against a team in the top half of the league standings. The Friars were competitive against Georgetown, Marquette and Villanova, but lost at Connecticut by 33 points, at West Virginia by 27 and at Louisville by 18. The Fighting Irish have won five games in a row against Providence, including an 81-74 victory in overtime last season.
Since the Friars have been on the bubble for it seems like the past month, I can’t believe this is the first time I’m posting this clip from the movie “Beerfest”.
TV: Cox in RI, SNY in NY Area
GAMBLING AND PREDICTIONS
Spread: Providence -3 [ProvidenceStats Twitter]
Ken Pomeroy: ND win, 85-84 (51% confidence)
AROUND THE WEB
On Saturday, February 21 the Friars will play Notre Dame at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The Friars have posted a 9-12 mark all-time versus the Fighting Irish. The Friars are 4-5 at home, 4-6 on the road
and 1-0 on neutral courts all-time against Notre Dame. The two teams first met on February 14, 1956 with the Friars earning an 85-83 win at Providence. Notre Dame has won the last five contests between the two teams, including an 84-71 overtime win last season at South Bend on January 31, 2008. PC’s last win over Notre Dame
was a 73-59 win on February 24, 2004 in South Bend. Notre Dame will be making its first appearance in Providence since March 1, 2006.
Notre Dame (14-11, 5-8) will look to rebound from its 79-68 loss at West Virginia on Wednesday night when the Irish travel to Providence, R.I., for its second road game of the week when they face the Providence Friars (16-10, 8-6). The game will be the only regular-season meeting between the two teams
That the Irish are 5-8 can be directly traced to both the difficult schedule and the team’s lack of defense. Notre Dame hasn’t shown the ability to dig in very much on defense and instead chooses to flash an explosive offense that’s led by All-American big man Luke Harangody and shooters Kyle McAlarney and Ryan Ayers. The Irish score 75.2 points against Big East foes, yet give up 76.8
Kevin McNamara Audio Preview: ‘Hold on to your seats’ for PC-Notre Dame game
“Hold onto your seats. I think this is clearly a game that will play in the 80s, and could play in the 100s, which could be record-setting. Rick Pitino, as a matter of fact, talked Thursday about Notre Dame’s defensive issues, which I thought was kind of eye-opening for an opposing coach to talk about.
Providence College plays its most important home game in some five seasons Saturday at noon when the Friars host Notre Dame in a Big East Conference clash with plenty of postseason intrigue.
Providence enters the game in need of a victory to remain on the NCAA Tournament fence. The Friars, at least, are sitting on a picket, a place not many of the faithful (myself included) could have predicted back in November.
Don’t forget, if you are going to THE DUNK tomorrow, be sure to wear BLACK because it’s the OFFICIAL BLACK OUT THE DUNK GAME!