Survive & Advance: Providence Beats Butler in the Big East Quarterfinals 65-61

It is March. In this month, it is all about winning. Optics and beauty points no longer matter, and I think that suits Providence just fine. PC was able to hold off the Butler Bulldogs and are now playing this evening against the Creighton Bluejays.

We break down some interesting talking points about how the Friars were able to avoid an upset and why this game was so close.

  1. Nate Watson was unstoppable – I had a feeling Watson was going to have a big game based off how locked in he was during the announcing of the starting line-ups. The intensity was emanating off of him, and he carried that over into the game to the tune of 26 points and 7 boards on his usual efficiency going 9-14 from the floor. The Friars needed this performance from the 2nd Team All Big Easter, as the rest of the offense outside Watson was rather stagnant. Nate saved the day yesterday with his offensive effort.
  2. Big Shot Al – Durham, up until 1:30 left in the game, was 0-7 from the floor. No matter. Durham hit arguably the biggest shot of his career from deep, flipping the Friars from down 1 to up 2 with a corner three ball. Durham doesn’t seem to get phased, even if he is having a poor performance. He has routinely come through in the clutch with yesterday being no different.
  3. Ugly Perimeter Shooting – The trio of Horchler, Reeves, and Durham went 6-24 from the floor and 4-16 from 3. If you were to see those stats, you’d presume the Friars lost in an ugly outing. Providence continues to find “unique” ways to win, and I think most fans believe we won’t see a similar outing from this trio moving forward. That is, obviously, a great sign.
  4. Dunk South – A Thursday Noon tip for the Big East Quarterfinals usually doesn’t draw a big crowd, but the Friars are the exception to the rule. The Garden was 90 percent Friars, and the place was LOUD. Seeing how crazy the environment was made me proud to be a Friar.
  5. Minaya = Elite – The theme of being slighted is one the Friars are well aware of. Minaya was snubbed of the Defensive Player of the Year, and all fans watching this game are only left more confused as to why that was the case. Minaya finished with three blocks and really did an excellent job locking down Chuck Harris, who went 4-12 and 1-5 from 3. Minaya is, in my opinion, one of the most important players on this team and doesn’t get the credit he deserves.

Providence takes on the Creighton Bluejays at 6:30pm in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament. Continue to survive and advance!

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