Providence Friars vs. Georgetown Hoyas Pick & Prediction MARCH 13th 2024

NEW YORK — The drama surrounding coach Ed Cooley’s departure from Providence to Georgetown nearly 12 months ago is about to add an unexpected chapter. Cooley will get one more chance to defeat his former school when his 10th-seeded Hoyas face the seventh-seeded Friars in the first round of the Big East tournament on Wednesday. Many Providence fans were upset when Cooley left his hometown program after 12 seasons to join a conference rival. While Georgetown (9-22) had a difficult first season of the Cooley era — its only two Big East wins coming over winless DePaul — Providence (19-12) contended for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid under first-year coach Kim English. The Friars lost three of their final four regular-season games and are viewed as an outsider to the NCAA Tournament bubble discussion. They need to have a strong week in New York. Providence’s only victory over the last two weeks was a 71-58 road win over Georgetown. Devin Carter went for 24 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and four steals. Carter has carried the Friars ever since Bryce Hopkins tore an ACL in his left knee Jan. 3. The guard averages 19.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.0 block per game and was a unanimous All-Big East first-team selection. “I would say he will get my vote for player of the year,” Cooley said after the March 5 loss to Providence. “I think he has damn near singlehandedly carried them to a tournament bid, I definitely think they’re a tournament team … I thought they had the best player on the floor, and that showed up.” Georgetown will counter with Jayden Epps, who has had six 30-point games this season and scored 26 and 16 in the two matchups with Providence. He averages 18.1 points per game. In the frontcourt, the Hoyas’ Supreme Cook (10.8 points, 8.1 rebounds per game) will battle the Friars’ Josh Oduro (16.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg). Providence also beat Georgetown 84-76 at home Jan. 27. The trilogy fight was set in stone after the Friars lost 74-60 to No. 2 UConn last Saturday. “They have great talent. They have as much talent as anyone in this league,” English said Saturday of the Hoyas. “It’s a one-game season right now.” –Adam Zielonka, Field Level Media

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