PROVIDENCE (WPRI) – “They were just a lot tougher than we were,” said UConn Head Coach Dan Hurley.

“Very, very hard to prepare for – their length, physicality, speed, defensively,” Providence Head Coach Ed Cooley said of the Huskies. “Yet, I thought our men stepped up to the challenge.”

That was after an unranked Providence team upset No. 4 UConn 73-61 in early January.

“We’ve still got to go down to Connecticut,” said Cooley said after the Friars Jan. 4 win. “That’ll be a war.”

The Huskies and Friars meet again Wednesday in Storrs. Both teams are coming off wins.

“Providence is one of the most physical teams in the country. They put enormous pressure on you with Hopkins and their centers… Carter,” Hurley said. “These guys take it to you. We have another tough man competition coming up Wednesday.”

The Friars are coming off an 85-72 win over Villanova, improving their perfect home record to 8-0 in conference play.

“To be 8-0 is a credit to the team. When you have eight new players that no one knew about and everybody speculated about,” Cooley said. “We weren’t the team we wanted to be in November and December, but with patience, a little bit of chemistry, a little bit of luck… everybody still thinks we’re lucky. I’d rather be lucky than good my entire time. So to be 8-0 is something special.”

Tip-off from Gampel Pavilion is at 6:30 p.m.

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