The Providence Friars and the Butler Bulldogs meet Thursday in college basketball action from Hinkle Fieldhouse. Providence is 10-3 on the year so far. The Friars beat Marquette in their last game. As for Butler, they’re currently 8-5 after a loss to Creighton. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Providence went 4-2 out of the gate this year, taking losses to Miami-FL and Saint Louis. The Friars have since posted a 6-1 run with wins over Columbia, Rhode Island, Manhattan, Albany, Seton Hall and Marquette.
In the Marquette game last Tuesday, the Friars outscored the Eagles 14-9 in double overtime to eke out a 103-98 victory. Bryce Hopkins led the team with 29 points and a whopping 23 rebounds. Both Ed Croswell and Devin Carter added 20 points apiece.
Over on the Butler side, they were 4-2 over their first six outings, falling to Penn State and Tennessee in that time. The Bulldogs are 4-3 since then with losses to NC State, UConn and Creighton among those games.
Last Thursday versus Creighton, the Bulldogs went into the locker room trailing 40-34. Butler scored just 22 points in the second half and ended up with a 78-56 loss. Chuck Harris was the only double-digit scorer on 14 points.
PICK: I’ll probably stay with Providence here. Should be an interesting matchup, though. The Friars pulled off a great win over a talented Marquette team in their last outing, shooting 46.2 percent from the field with a 48-33 rebounding advantage (18-12 offensive). The Friars are on a five-game win streak right now, scoring 71 or more in each game. As for Butler, they’ve scored a combined 102 points across their last two games. That run comes after a four-game stretch with 71 or more in each outing, though. Still, I don’t think the Bulldogs will keep up the cover pace with Providence.