Syracuse Puts First Place in the Big East on the Line Against Providence


The Syracuse Orange find themselves in a three-way dogfight atop the Big East conference and will look to keep pressure on those rivals when they host the Providence Friars on Wednesday at the Carrier Dome.

This is the second meeting of the season between these two teams. On Jan. 9, Syracuse (21-4, 9-3) went to Providence (14-11, 6-7) and secured a 72-66 win as an 11-point road favorite.

Winning the Big East would be a fine parting gift for the Orange, who are currently tied with Georgetown and Marquette for first-place in the conference. A charter member and one of the traditional powers of the Big East, Syracuse is scheduled to bolt the conference for the ACC next season.

Syracuse exits a sharp 76-65 win over Seton Hall as an 8.5-point road favorite Saturday. For those doing some NCAA basketball betting this week, it's worth noting the cover improved the Orange's record against the spread to a profitable 13-8 mark this season.

Leading scorer Brandon Triche had a career-high 29 points in the win over Providence while forward CJ Fair chipped in 19 points and 11 rebounds. The win snapped a three-game conference road losing streak for the Orange.

Providence, which also brings in an impressive 13-8 mark against the number, is playing its best basketball of the season right now. The Friars have won their four previous games both straight-up and against the spread, which includes a 71-54 beatdown of Notre Dame on Saturday.

Syracuse Orange Guard Brandon Triche Shoots

Feb 13, 2013; Hartford, CT, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Brandon Triche (20) shoots against Connecticut Huskies forward DeAndre Daniels (2) during the second half at the XL Center. UConn defeated the Syracuse Orange 66-58. Photo Courtesy By David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports.

Providence is led by the veteran backcourt duo of Bryce Cotton and Vincent Council. Cotton is averaging 20.6 points a game to go along with 3.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists a game. Council, a senior, is averaging 9.5 points and 7.3 assists a game.

Syracuse figures to be a comfortable favorite in this one, but don't discount the current form of the Friars. This has the potential of being a "trap" game for the Orange, as they could be looking ahead to their Saturday showdown with archrival Georgetown.

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