Providence vs. St. John's - Big East Tournament - 3/12/15 Pick, Odds, and Prediction
St. John's Red Storm (21-10) at Providence Friars (21-10)
College Basketball: Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 2:30 pm (Madison Square Garden)
The Line: Providence Friars +1.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: Fox Sports 1
The St. John’s Red Storm and Providence Friars will face off in the quarterfinals of the Big East Championship this Thursday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.
The St. John’s Red Storm finished the season with a 21-10 record and earned the 5th seed in the Big East Tournament with a 10-8 conference record. Saint John’s had high expectations coming into this season returning four starters from last year’s team, and although they struggled at the beginning of Big East play, they were able to right the ship and as they won 7 of their last 9 games to most likely secure an at-large bid even if they don’t win this match-up. The Red Storm is ranked 31st in the RPI Standings and has played the 30th ranked SOS. St. John’s biggest wins of the season came against Providence (twice), Xavier (twice) and Georgetown.
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St. John’s averaged 71.7 ppg (ranked 73rd) on 44.6% shooting (ranked 110th). The Red Storm averages 6.1 three-pointers per game (ranked 202nd) on 35.6% three-point shooting (ranked 114th). St. John’s averaged just 10.6 turnovers per game (ranked 26th) and shot 69.4% from the free-throw line (ranked 166th). Defensively, St. John’s allowed their opponents to average 67.4 ppg (ranked 200th) on 40.5% shooting (ranked 69th). The Red Storm averaged 6.6 bpg (ranked 4th) and pulled down 35.39 total rpg (ranked 119th). St. John’s held opponents to 32.4% shooting from beyond the arc (ranked 87th) however, had a rebound margin of -3.4 (ranked 297th). Leading the way for the Red Storm on the season have been D’Angelo Harrison (17.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.1 spg) and Sir’Dominic Pointer (13.7 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.0 spg, 2.5 bpg).
The Providence Friars finished the season with a 21-10 record and earned the 4th seed in the Big East Tournament with an 11-7 conference record. Providence lost one of the better point-guards in Bryce Cotton from last year’s team, but was able to rely on Sophomore Kris Dunn to really fill in his shoes and with along with senior, LaDontae Henton, was able to become a top-25 team this year. The Friars are currently ranked 23rd in the RPI Standings and has played the 8th ranked SOS. Providence’s biggest wins this year came against Notre Dame, Butler, and Georgetown (twice).
Providence averaged 70.4 ppg (ranked 94th) on 44.6% shooting (ranked 106th). The Friars averaged 14.1 apg (ranked 70th) and committed just 11.8 turnovers per game (ranked 88th). Providence made just 4.8 three-pointers per game (ranked 308th) on 30.4% three-point shooting (ranked 310th). Defensively, Providence allowed their opponents to average 65.8 ppg (ranked 147th) on 42.5% shooting (ranked 151st). The Friars pulled down 35.42 total rpg (ranked 117th) and averaged 7.2 spg (ranked 65th). Providence had a 3.3 rebound margin (ranked 75th) and 1.4 turnover margin (ranked 86th). Leading the way for the Friars for the season have been LaDontae Henton (20.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.4 spg) and Kris Dunn (15.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 7.4 apg).
The Red Storm are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss and 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Friars are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games however, 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
St. John’s was able to defeat Providence in both of their match-ups this season (83-70 @ Providence; 75-66 @ MSG). Saint John’s was able to shoot about 50% from the field in each of those wins while holding providence to under 30.0% from beyond the arc in each game. Providence is at its best when Kris Dunn and LaDontae Henton are slashing to the basket and get in trouble when they settle for the three-point shot. Saint John’s, outside of their second half against Villanova recently has been playing great as of late as Sir’Dominic Pointer has been an absolute monster in all aspects of the game. St. John’s has a distinct advantage getting to play at MSG for their conference tournament and I think D’Angelo Harrison and Sir’Dominic Pointer will lead the Red Storm past Providence in this one. Take St. John’s to cover.