Welcome to the WhatIfSports.com tournament simulation to see who is the best Friar team of all-time. All games are simmed only once using default roster depth, the better seed as the home team, and on a neutral court.
Check out each box score…it has a play-by-play of the entire game!
The Finals will be played today! Click here for the full bracket.
ROUND 2 RESULTS
FINAL FOUR RESULTS
Two of the greatest Friar teams are going to square off in the championship game. The #1 seed 1972-73 Friars have won their games fairly easily. Marvin Barnes is a clear favorite to win the MVP of the tournament, averaging 18.6 ppg and an amazing 16.3 rebounds. DiGregario is also having a stellar tournament, providing the ‘73 team with a practically unstoppable 1-2 punch. Let’s have a look at their starting lineup.
PG Ernie DiGregorio
SG Kevin Stacom
SF Fran Costello
PF Nehru King
C Marvin Barnes
The ‘97 Friars came into the tournament as a #3 seed and have had to battle their way through to the finals, beating a very good ‘04 team and upsetting the #2 Rick Pitino led ‘87 Friars. Derrick Brown has been the most consistant, averaging 19 points a game. Jamel Thomas and Austin Croshere have each had one dominant game. Let’s check out their full starting five.
PG God Shammgod
SG Jamel Thomas
SF Austin Croshere
PF Derrick Brown
C Ruben Garces
#1. 1972-73: 82
#3. 1996-97: 73
“‘73 Friars: Best Providence Team of All Time!”
In front of a sellout crowd at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, the 1972-73 Friars proved they were the greatest Providence College Basketball team of all-time, defeating Pete Gillen’s underdog ‘97 Friars by a score of 82-73. Moments after parading the Cianci Championship Trophy around the court, Marvin Barnes was named tournament MVP. He saved his best game for last, netting 18 points, pulling down 20 rebounds for the second consecutive game, and also registering a tournament high 7 blocks.
“I’m happy to win the award, but I’m more proud of our team and the fact that we were able to come out on top”, said Barnes.
After the first half of play, it didn’t appear that Barnes and his team would be able to handle the ‘97 Friars and their bid for an incredible upset. Gillen’s Friars led by as many as 13 after Ndongo N’Diaye hit a nice turnaround shot midway through the first half.
The defense somehow kept Barnes in check, limiting him to 6 first half points. With everyone but Ernie DiGregario seemingly able to score, the ‘97 team took a 39-27 lead with only 2 minutes to go in the half after a Corey Wright layup. Barnes and Kevin Stacom hit two big buckets late in the half to cut the halftime defecit to 9 with a score of 40-31.
Coach Gavitt did not seem concerned with how badly his team was outplayed in the first half. “Anytime Bad News heads to the lockerroom after a bad start, you just know its a matter of time before he goes wild. We’ve seen it again and again on this team, so we never really panic. We’ll make our adjustments and be fine.”, said Gavitt.
THe ‘73 Friars wasted little time getting back into the game, but God Shammgod (16 points, 11 assists) held off the attack as best he could. Minutes after hitting 4 straight foul shots, Shammgod drilled a 3-pointer from straightaway to give the ‘97 team a 49-46 lead with 16 and half minutes remaining. A Jamel Thomas (13 points) jumper moments later would give Gillen’s squad a 51-48 advantage, which would turn out to be their last lead of the night.
From that point on, it was all Marvin Barnes on both ends of the court, as the ‘73 Friars used a 20-6 run over the next 8 minutes to take a 68-57 lead. Despite a couple of threes by Thomas and Austin Croshere to bring them within 5 points with 6 minutes to go in the game, the ‘97 Friars had no answer for Barnes and DiGregario on defense.
Barnes would finish with 14 second half rebounds and 12 second half points. DiGregario was the leading scorer for the game with 27 points, 16 of them in the 2nd frame.
“Any time you give your opponent a rebounding advantage (41-31) like that, especially when you give them so many second chance points, its going to be hard to win a game. When our shots don’t fall or continually get blocked, its a double whammy.”, said coach Gavitt.
A victory parade is planned is downtown Providence after a ceremony at the City Hall.