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No. 1 Syracuse Orange (18-0) vs. Providence Friars (12-6) GameThread

The top-ranked Syracuse Orange and Providence Friars will meet on the hardwood for the second time in the last 10 days, as the two square off this evening in Big East action at the Carrier Dome.

The Friars can hang with any team in the conference, although the league slate has provided some hazards in the early going, with Providence at just 1-4 in conference play. The team ended a four-game slide in a huge way, whipping nationally-ranked Louisville, 90-59.

Syracuse owns a sizeable 45-10 advantage in the series all-time and is seeking the regular-season sweep after recording an 87-73 victory at Providence on January 4th.

Providence is definitely not a team to take likely. Louisville found that out the hard way, as the Friars rolled up 90 points in a rout of the Cardinals last time out and didn't even have one of their big guns at their disposal. Gerard Coleman (15.1 ppg) missed the game due to a lingering back injury. Bryce Cotton and Kadeem Batts posted 27 points apiece in the win, with Watts completing a double-double with 10 rebounds. Star guard Vincent Council also recorded a double-double with 15 points and 14 boards. Freshman LaDontae Henton added 14 points in the scoring deluge. While the Friars put on an offensive clinic against Louisville, the numbers have been more modest on the year. The team comes into this contest averaging 70.1 ppg. Council is a favorite for Big East Player of the Year, averaging team-highs of 16.4 points and 7.1 assists per game. Coleman's 15.1 ppg should be back on the floor in this one. Cotton and Henton provide adequate depth at 14.6 and 12.7 ppg, respectively.

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G'ORANGE!