PC to face St. John’s in Big East Quarterfinal

Providence's LaDontae Henton (23) drives past Seton Hall's Brian Oliver (22) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Big East Conference men's tournament Friday, March 14, 2014, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The No. 24/23 Providence College Friars will open the BIG EAST Tournament on Thursday, March 12 in the Quarterfinals versus St. John’s at Madison Square Garden in New York City at 2:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1. The Friars finished the conference season in fourth place. St. John’s finished in fifth place.

The Friars have posted a 4-2 mark all-time versus the Red Storm in the BIG EAST Tournament, with Providence winning the last four matchups, including last year’s Quarterfinal game in which PC earned a 79-74 win on March 13, 2014. This will mark the second consecutive year and third game all-time that the two teams are meeting with PC as a No. 4 Seed and St. John’s as a No. 5 Seed. On March 5, 1987, the No. 4 seed Friars defeated the No. 5 seed Red Storm, 80-51.

St. John’s holds a 60-45 edge in the series with PC. The teams have met every year since the 1969-70 season. The Friars hold a 24-22 edge at home, while St. John’s has a 32-16 edge in New York, while also holding a 6-5 advantage on neutral courts. In the first meeting between the two teams this season, St. John’s earned an 83-70 win over the Friars in Providence on January 14. In the second game between the two teams, the Red Storm earned a 75-66 win at Madison Square Garden on January 31.

The Friars enter the Tournament looking to defend their 2014 BIG EAST title. The Friars earned an automatic bid to their 16th NCAA Tournament after capturing the 2014 BIG EAST Tournament title on March 15, 2014 with a 65-58 win over No. 14/14 Creighton at Madison Square Garden in New York. After defeating St. John’s (79-74) in the Quarterfinals and 8th seed Seton Hall (80-74) in the Semifinals. The Friars entered the BIG EAST Tournament on “the bubble” for the NCAA Tournament with a RPI of 52. The Friars earned the three wins and the automatic bid and had a RPI of 40. The Friars, a No. 11 seed, were defeated in the Second Round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament by No. 6 seed North Carolina, 79-77, at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

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