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Providence basketball moves up in the AP Top 25; where it ranks today

Being idle last week didn’t stop Providence College from climbing in the AP men’s basketball poll.

The Friars are up two spots to No. 23 ahead of their return to action on Wednesday night. They made a small move from No. 25 despite not touching the floor since an overtime victory against Butler on Dec. 23.

More: Providence Friars in the top 25? Can they stay there?

Providence will host Seton Hall riding its second four-game winning streak of the season. Its last time out brought some drama to Amica Mutual Pavilion, as a late tying 3-pointer from Ticket Gaines forced an extra five minutes. The Friars took command from there while outlasting the Bulldogs, 85-75, and remained in line for a third consecutive 3-0 start in the conference.

Providence  guard Devin Carter (22) drives to the basket against Butler during overtime of their game on Dec. 23 at Amica Mutual Pavilion.
Providence guard Devin Carter (22) drives to the basket against Butler during overtime of their game on Dec. 23 at Amica Mutual Pavilion.

Devin Carter was named Big East Player of the Week after netting 10 of his game-high 24 points in overtime against Butler. Providence improved to 11-2 overall, 2-0 in the league, and remained inside the top 50 according to both the NCAA NET rankings and KenPom.com. The Friars started Monday at No. 49 in the NET and No. 40 per KenPom — both of those marks are traditionally safe in terms of a future at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament.

Providence has ridden its defense back into the national polls for the third straight year. The Friars rank fifth nationally in adjusted efficiency, fifth in 2-point percentage against and fourth in effective field goal percentage against through 13 games. Providence has limited all but one of its opponents to less than 1.00 points per possession — five of its foes haven’t reached 0.90.

Friars forward Bryce Hopkins (23) defends against a shot by  Bulldogs guard Jahmyl Telfort during overtime at Amica Mutual Pavilion on Dec. 23.
Friars forward Bryce Hopkins (23) defends against a shot by Bulldogs guard Jahmyl Telfort during overtime at Amica Mutual Pavilion on Dec. 23.

The Friars are one of three Big East teams in this week’s poll, joining No. 4 Connecticut and No. 7 Marquette. Providence opened league play with a headlining win against the Golden Eagles and also took out No. 21 Wisconsin in nonconference action. The Friars suffered a road defeat at No. 11 Oklahoma and has two future dates with Creighton, which was among teams receiving votes this week.

Providence’s tip with the Pirates (8-5, 1-1) is set for 6:30 p.m. The Friars hit the road from there, playing consecutive games at the Bluejays and St. John’s. That meeting with the Red Storm will be a reunion with former coach Rick Pitino and former school president Rev. Brian J. Shanley, who was named to the same role in Queens beginning in February 2021.

bkoch@providencejournal.com 

On X: @BillKoch25 

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: The Friars jump two spots to No. 23 in AP's weekly poll