Tonight's game between DePaul and Providence is big for a number of reasons. There's a lot of history in this game even though these two teams have only played 28 times. For one, the Blue Demons are continuing their quest to try and avoid a dubious fate - losing every regular season Big East game. It's happened before and it might happen again.
And there will be a historic announcing crew to call tonight's game at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN2 as well. Beth Mowins and Doris Burke will be the first all female women's hoops announcer booth at a men's college game on an ESPN network in more than a decade.
Once again the Blue Demons aren't getting much of a shot. DePaul is an 11 1/2 point underdog tonight according to Vegas. Pomeroy predicts the Blue Demons lose by 15.
All of DePaul's losing is starting to build up and culminating in things like the Wall Street Journal article that suggests in the lead that DePaul shouldn't be in the Big East anymore
. That's ridiculous.
Yes. It's been a rough stretch of 50 games. DePaul has gone 2-48, but bounces of the ball have something to do with it. Just this season the Blue Demons have lost games by 2, 3 and 4 points. Last season they won one of those games against Marquette, but there were losses by 2, 4, 4 and 5 points.
DePaul has been competitive. It recently changed coaches and committed to bringing in Big East quality talent to play in a Big East system. Oliver Purnell has a proven track record of success in the ACC, a conference that prides itself on being just as competitive.
While the team has struggled over its past 50 games, that fact alone doesn't have any predictive accuracy. DePaul will be back, but the Blue Demons need a win to announce that fact.
Close losses to Cincinnati, Louisville and West Virginia have been nice, but DePaul needs a victory. There are six chances remaining in conference for it to happen. The best one is against South Florida on February 26, but beating Providence tonight on national television or a miracle against an NCAA Tournament bound team like Villanova, Syracuse or St. John's will have an impact that ranges far beyond that night. It'll give this team back some respect.