Providence routs Butler in Big East opener – Newsday

Providence routs Butler in Big East opener - Newsday
Big East Tournament, Villanova vs. Providence: Time, TV, internet info
The 2019 Big East Tournament begins Wednesday at Madison Square Garden with a first-round matchup between No. 9 Butler and No. 8 Providence at 7 p.m. ET. The Bulldogs are one-point favorites, with the over-under for total points set at 135.5 in the latest Butler vs. Providence odds. Both teams likely need to win the tournament to earn their way into the 2019 NCAA Tournament, so the intensity level should be high Wednesday. Before you make your Butler vs. Providence picks, be sure to check out the Big East Tournament predictions from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has raked in the winnings for those following its picks. Over the past two years, the SportsLine Projection Model has returned over $4,000 to $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks. It also entered Conference Championship Week on a strong 11-5 run on all top-rated college basketball picks. Anyone who has followed it is way up. 

The #25 Villanova Wildcats will be seeking their third win over the Friars this season. The Wildcats needed a loss from Marquette on Saturday to clinch the regular season Big East title. Villanova dropped a 79-75 road decision to Seton Hall in their season finale, and they have lost four out of their last six games overall. Wildcats top scorer Phil Booth closed the season with two solid performances, connecting on 15 of 25 field goal attempts for a combined 44 points in his last two games. The senior guard consistently produced this season, and he is sporting an average of 18.6 PPG on 43% shooting. Booth scored 23 and 22 points respectively in two games against the Friars this season.

Now, the model has locked in on Butler vs. Providence. We can tell you it is leaning toward the over, and it also has a strong against-the-spread pick that hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see it at SportsLine.

For Wednesday, the model knows that Kamar Baldwin will be a key for Butler. The third-year starter leads Butler in scoring this season (17.5 points) and has plenty of experience playing under pressure in March, having led Butler to NCAA Tournament appearances the past two seasons. In the eight conference tournament and NCAA Tournament games he has played, he has averaged 15.8 points. He had a 32-point performance against Seton Hall in last years Big East Tournament and a 24-point, nine-rebound, five-assist performance in an NCAA Tournament victory over Arkansas.

The Friars are currently ranked at 80th in the country in Ken Pomeroys college basketball rankings, and they are not currently projected to reach the NCAA Tournament if they don’t win the Big East tourney according to ESPNs Bracketology. Providence has won three out of their last four games overall. They are currently averaging 71.7 points on the season, ranking them 205th. The Friars are allowing an average of 69.3 points, positioning them 129th in the country.

Baldwin has been a load for Providence to handle this season, averaging 21 points, five rebounds and three steals in two meetings. If Butler can get supplementary scoring from players like Paul Jorgensen and Sean McDermott, Baldwin has what it takes to lead his team to victory.

The #1 seed Villanova Wildcats will clash with the #8 seed Providence Friars in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament Thursday afternoon from Madison Square Garden. The Wildcats won the Big East with a 13-5 conference record paired with a 22-9 regular season record, and the Friars posted a 17-14 record with a 7-11 mark in Big East play. Villanova defeated Providence in both meetings this season, winning 65-59, and 85-67.

However, the Friars also have a strong chance to cover the Butler vs. Providence spread in the 2019 Big East Tournament.

Despite entering as underdogs, the Friars swept the season series, with both wins coming in the past two weeks. Providence beat Butler on the road in overtime 73-67 on Feb. 26 and then beat them 83-70 in their own building to finish the regular season on March 9.

Halftime—Providence 38-27. 3-Point Goals—Butler 7-21 (Tucker 4-7, Thompson 1-1, Fowler 1-2, Jorgensen 1-5, David 0-1, Donovan 0-1, McDermott 0-1, Baldwin 0-3), Providence 11-23 (Jackson 3-5, White 3-6, Duke 2-3, Diallo 2-3, Reeves 1-3, Young 0-1, Edwards 0-1, Ashton-Langford 0-1). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Butler 23 (Fowler 5), Providence 31 (Diallo 8). Assists—Butler 15 (Thompson 6), Providence 15 (White 5). Total Fouls—Butler 19, Providence 9.

In the first win, the Friars used stifling defense to hold Butler to 32 percent shooting. Less than two weeks later, they hit 58 percent of their 3-point attempts to win an up-tempo game. In both games, Providence won the battle on the boards, with a total rebounding margin of plus-25.

Madison Square Garden has been a tough venue for the Bulldogs, who are 1-6 in six Big East tournaments. Providence has been tough on them, too, sweeping Butler 3-0 for the second time in four years. In a 16-day span, the Friars led Butler by 14 at Indianapolis, by 28 at Providence, by 26 at New York.

Who wins Providence vs. Butler? And which side of the spread cashes well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Providence vs. Butler spread you should be all over, all from the model thats up over $4,000 on top-rated college basketball picks the past two seasons.

Butlers top three scorers for the season – Baldwin, Paul Jorgensen and Sean McDermott – totaled 15 points, or 24 below their collective average. McDermott went 2-of-18 from the 3-point line over the past five games.  He was called for a flagrant foul on a hook-and-hold ruling late in the game.

Share Share How to watch Villanova vs. Providence tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports Providence was downright dominant in their Wednesday night victory over Butler, and theyll get the reward of #1 seed Villanova on short rest. While Nova did the double over the Friars during the regular season, both games were odd in nature.

In the first meeting, Villanova jumped out to a huge lead before letting Providence make a run late. The reverse happened in the second outing – a close affair was blown open by Villanova at the finishing stage.

BUTLER (16-16): McDermott 0-3 0-0 0, Fowler 2-5 1-2 6, Jorgensen 3-10 0-0 7, Baldwin 4-10 0-0 8, Thompson 5-5 1-3 12, Golden 1-2 0-0 2, Tucker 5-11 0-0 14, David 1-2 0-0 2, Brunk 2-4 2-2 6, Donovan 0-1 0-0 0, Baddley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-53 4-7 57.

What will Thursdays matinee hold? Villanova is playing for NCAA Tournament seeding, while the Friars need to take home the Big East Tournament trophy if they are going to go dancing next week.


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