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Marquette vs. Providence: Friars host top-10 Golden Eagles in Big East matchup

Providence looks to unseat Marquette as they host the Golden Eagles.

NCAA Basketball: St. Thomas (MN) at Marquette Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 6 Marquette Golden Eagles take on the Providence Friars in a Big East matchup on Tuesday, December 19. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET, and the game will air on FS1.

Marquette (9-2) has had quite the exciting start to the season. Their early slate has featured plenty of matchups against ranked teams, and they’ve grabbed wins over Illinois, Kansas, and Texas, while losing to Wisconsin and Purdue. The Eagles rank sixth overall at KenPom, and are led by guards Kam Jones (15.6 ppg) and Tyler Kolek (15 ppg). Oso Ighodaro adds a team-high six rebounds per game.

In Marquette’s latest game, a close 84-79 win over St. Thomas MN, Ighodaro led the team with 21 points and eight rebounds. The Eagles average 80.2 points per game, placing them at 48th in the nation, and shoot 48.9%, 22nd in the nation. In each of their two losses, they suffered from a massive negative rebounding margin, and will need to focus on that in tough games going forward to make the difference.

Providence (9-2) is fresh off a 78-64 win over Sacred Heart that saw Bryce Hopkins lead the team with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Hopkins leads the Friars in both stat lines this season, averaging 17.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Providence ranks 52nd overall at Kenpom and 21st in adjusted defensive efficiency.

The Friars hold their opponents to 38.3% shooting (16th in the nation) and 63.5 points per game (20th in the nation). They rank 15th in defensive rebounds per game. Their two losses this season have come against Oklahoma and Kansas State, the latter of which ended in overtime. The Friars’ best win so far was against Wisconsin, a team that defeated Marquette.

The conference rivalry nature of this game ensures that it’s going to be an exciting one to watch. Can Providence’s tough defense slow down this Marquette offense? The Friars have home field advantage, and have been very tough at home this season, dropping just a single game in OT on their turf. If Providence can keep the rebound machine going and make some big stops, I like the Friars to cover.

Marquette vs. Providence Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Marquette -4.5
Total: 146.5
Moneyline: Marquette -198, Providence +164

Pick: Providence +4.5