DePaul travels to Providence on Saturday, March 7th at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. When these two teams met in the 2nd game of Big East Conference play, the game pushed the teams in opposite directions. The Friars had accumulated some funky results which put them near the bottom of Big East teams entering conference play. After convincingly defeating Texas and Georgetown, the Friars won the rock fight against DePaul on a last second free-throw.
Since that time, Providence has proven to be a resilient team defeating all the Big East teams at least once. The Friars are on a five game winning streak. It is incredible.
The DePaul Blue Demons, one of the worst Division One teams at shooting free-throws, shot 88.6% from the line to defeat Marquette. The Demons rode the hot free-throw shooting of 50% shooter Jaylen Butz and 57% shooter Darious Hall. Hall and Butz went a combined 15-17 or 88.2%. It was also incredible.
The Hoyas’ star, Mac McClung, had his eye severely poked during a game versus American on December 28th and missed the Providence game. I picture McClung’s eye looking like Bob Costas’s eye during Winter Olympic coverage. The only difference is that McClung, with or without bad eye, could probably reverse dunk over tiny Costas.
Providence has been a trick-or-treat team this year, losing to such basketball luminaries as Long Beach State (303), Charlestown (120), Penn (108), and Evanston’s favorite Big 14 team, Northwestern (109), while beating Texas and Georgetown in their last two games. Before beating the Longhorns and Hoyas, the Friars’ biggest wins were against Stony Brook, Pepperdine, and Sacred Heart. On paper, they are the worst team in the Big East. However, DePaul will not be playing paper on Saturday.
After initially being down to the Friars, Eli Cain hit a 3 pointer to put DePaul up 13-12. From that point forward, the Blue Demons never looked back. The Demons went on a 25-7 run to go from 2 down to 16 up over a 8:09 stretch. The Friars got a couple of baskets to close it to 12 with 8 seconds to go in the half. Eli Cain then calmly sunk a buzzer-beating 3 pointer to close the half and put DePaul up 15 at the break.
First, first thoughts, I went to the game, and it was an interesting crowd. Super loud Friars fans, and a bunch of semi-engaged Demon fans. 2nd thought, now that I have had a chance to watch the replay, FX1’s ‘All Access’ is hypnotic. You know how you watch a good fight on HBO, and the best part is the corner men conversations?