Providence (4) opens up NIT play tomorrow night

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Charlotte Preview: The Providence Friars (4, 17-14) will host the Charlotte 49ers (5, 21-11) tomorrow night at the Dunk at 7:15pm on ESPN3. The Friars were led this year by All-Big East First Team selection Bryce Cotton, who averaged a league-high 19.4 points per game. The Co-Most Improved Player in the Big East Kadeem Batts (15.1) and LaDontae Henton (13.2) were also key contributors offensively this season. Unlike the Friars, the 49ers had a more balanced scoring attack this season. Their top five scorers: Chris Braswell (11.9), DeMario Mayfield (11.7), Pierria Henry (10.4), Willie Clayton (8.4), and Terrence Williams (7.5) all have point averages that are within five points of each other. The Friars, who I believe to be a better team, will have to bear down and put the 49ers away early, using home-court to their advantage.

Potential Matchup: If the Friars were to take care of their first game on home court, they would have the opportunity to take on the overrated and overhyped Kentucky Wildcats in the second round, who have a first-round game against Robert Morris tonight on ESPN. This would be an early treat for Friar fans, as PC is set to take on Kentucky on December 1, 2013 next season at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Trap Game: With the potential to play a big name school like Kentucky in the second round, I see tomorrow night as a trap game. Especially with a single-elimination tournament, the Friars can’t look past Charlotte tomorrow night. Although I believe they should win, they can’t take the game lightly with the anticipation of a big second-round matchup.

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