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Pre-Duel Pleasantries: Providence

Crossing the line before tonight’s game

NCAA Basketball: Butler at Providence Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier has an early 6:30 pm tipoff tonight against Providence and to get you ready for the game we talked to Mike Hopkins over at He had plenty of insights, so let’s see what he had to say.

1.) Things haven't looked great for Providence recently. What's the mood right now for the Friars?

The mood got a lot better after Saturday's upset win over then 22nd-ranked Butler at home. The expectations coming into the season were sort of all over the place with most people not really sure what to expect and fans feeling optimistic and pessimistic at an almost equal rate. The strong start to the non-conference at 10-2 started to turn some of the frowns upside downs but the loss at Boston College brought that crashing down. Then a brutal start to Big East play had Friar fans feeling really low. Providence has been up and down in Big East play but they shockingly still have a path to make their fourth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, which is something that has never happened in school history. In short, the current mood is hopeful but also most realize this game against Xavier is critical to determine whether they have a real chance for a push to the NCAA Tournament or if they will be fighting for seeding in the NIT.

2.) Isaiah Jackson played strong against X last time but hasn't looked too hot recently. Which Jackson will we see on Wednesday night?

Jackson has had some of his better production games when Providence loses but he has played pretty well of late despite not putting up big-time scoring numbers. His physical defense against Butler's guards was a big key to Providence's success on Saturday. He's a role player and when he fills his role of playing solid defense and making the occasional open shot he's doing his job. I think he'll ride some of the confidence from Saturday into a matchup against Xavier's guards. He probably won't have the most gaudy statline but I think you'll look back and realize he did a solid job in this game.

3.) Best place to eat before the game in Providence?

I'm a huge Camille's guy, which is an old-school place up on Federal Hill. If you're looking for a more casual meal I'd recommend G-Pub, Luxe Burger or Trinity Brewhouse. The biggest advantage of Trinity is that it's across the street from the Dunk and they have excellent house brewed beers.

4.) What future occupations will Beyonce's twins have?

The twins will be part of the new royal family as America comes out of the post-Trump era and decides they want to go a monarchy.

5.) Score prediction?

Providence 68, Xavier 67