St. John's Red Storm vs. Providence Friars Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/13/14
Providence Friars (20-11) at St. John's Red Storm (20-11)
College Basketball: Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 3:30 pm (Carnesecca Arena)
The Line: St. John's Red Storm -5.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: Fox Sports One
The St. John’s Red Storm and the Providence Friars square off in quarterfinal Big East tournament action Thursday at 230PM on Fox Sports One.
The Red Storm sit at 20-11 on the year and 10-8 in conference play and finished up their season in exciting fashion with a 91-90 win over a solid Marquette team on the road. The Red Storm are led offensively by the scoring of guard D’Angelo Harrison who averages 17.6 points per game. Rysheed Jordan has become a key piece for the Johnnies during their second half run in conference play and he paces the offense, averaging 3.1 assists per game. Jakarr Sampson is both solid defensively and offensively -- the utility man averages 12 points per game and just over 6 boards per contest as well. St. John’s enter tournament play winners of two straight and 9 of their last 11 as they will try to make a run at the finals in front of a friendly crowd.
Providence finished the season somewhat slowly after peaking about mid way through conference play. The Friars finished with an identical record as St. John’s (20-11, 10-8) and they find themselves right on the bubble, needing two or so wins to feel really comfortable about their post-season chances. Providence saw their 3 game win streak come to a close with a 15 point loss at Creighton last weekend. The Friars feature a veteran starting 5 and arguably the most complete starting unit in the conference. Bryce Cotton leads the way from the point guard slot -- the score first point averages 21.7 points per game and just under 6 assists as well. Kadeem Batts and LaDonte Henton can play inside and out and both average over 7 boards a game as well. Henton is second on the team in scoring as well (13.6 ppg).
These two teams are very evenly matched and this should make for the most exciting opening round contest of the tournament. St. John’s won the most recent meeting by 10 and the Friars came away with the first meeting in double OT. I like the Friars experienced starting 5 to will the Friars to a win in this one as free throw shooting and late buckets by Bryce Cotton make the difference as the Friars advance to the semi’s with the cover.