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Marquette Golden Eagles vs. Providence Friars - 1/30/14

Providence Friars (15-5) at Marquette Golden Eagles (11-9)

College Basketball: Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Bradley Center)

The Line: Marquette Golden Eagles -5.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: FOXS1

The only Big East matchup on the Thursday night college basketball schedule is a battle between Providence and Marquette. The Friars are playing great basketball and are winners of five straight, the Golden Eagles have lost three of their last five and participated in three straight overtime games.

Providence is making some serious noise with recent wins over St. John’s, Creighton and Butler. This winning streak has a lot to do with defending the three ball. In its last five games, teams are shooting just 20.9 percent from beyond the arc, while Providence is shooting 34.4 percent. Even in the game against Creighton, Providence held the Bluejays to just four threes out of 19 attempts. Offensively, LaDontae Henton and Bryce Cotton are coming off 20-plus point performances.

Marquette Golden Eagles vs. Providence Friars - 1/30/14

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

 Impressive.

Good news for Marquette is that it doesn’t rely on the three ball at just 30 percent. The problem is they don’t do a great job defending out there, allowing 40 percent from downtown in their last five games. Besides those defensive struggles, they continue to shoot a percentage from the field and DeVante Gardner has scored 20 or more points in two straight games.

Providence has not beaten Marquette since January of 2007. However, this would be a perfect opportunity to end that streak. The Friars are playing great basketball, have proven they can beat the big boys and are 5-0 against the spread in their last five against the Big East.

The wrong team is favored in this one, as the Friars will get it done. But take the points just to be safe. 

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Providence +5.5

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