Say what you want about the Providence Friars senior class. Tonight, they have a chance to avenge the GREAT LOSS OF 2004 (or whatever you want to call it). A chance to pull off an amazing win over the #1 ranked team in the country. While it would not erase the failures of that 2004 season, or even gaurantee that this team would make the NCAA tournament, it would provide an excellent moment in PC Basketball History.
I usually put a lot of engery and caring about Providence winning each game. Tonight, I don’t think I’ll ever pull for these Seniors harder. For Geoff McDermott, Weyinimi Efejuku, Jeff Xavier, Jonathan Kale, and Randall Hanke, it will be their last game ever played at THE DUNK in front of their fans. They have always represented Providence College with nothing but class, and I truly think they deserve to win this game. So let’s go out there and beat the #1 team in the nation!!!
TV: Cox in RI, SNY in NY Area, ESPN360.com
GAMBLING AND PREDICTIONS
Spread: Pittsburgh -8.0 [ProvidenceStats Twitter]
Ken Pomeroy: Pitt W, 86-74 (84% confidence)
CBS Sportsline: Pitt W, 83-72
ESPN.com: Stats LLC Preview
The Panthers lost their first road game after ascending to No. 1 last month, a fate they’ll try to avoid Tuesday night as they go for their ninth straight victory over Providence.
The Sports Network: Top-ranked Panthers head north to battle Friars
The Pittsburgh Panthers have taken over the top spot in the AP poll, and they figure to carry a wealth of confidence into tonight’s Big East Conference road clash with the Providence Friars.
Courier Journal: Could Pitt lose to Providence?
But … this is Providence’s ninth and final Big East home game. That means it’s Senior Night for the Friars. Perhaps an extra serving of emotion for a veteran team that understands it needs to defeat a team like Pitt to make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team.
Friars.com: Men’s Basketball
On Tuesday, February 24 the Friars will play top-ranked Pittsburgh at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The Friars have posted a 16-27 mark all-time versus the Panthers. The Friars are 12-8 at home, 3-18 on the road and 1-1 on neutral courts all-time against Pittsburgh. The two teams first met on March 18, 1975 with the Friars earning a 101-80 win at Madison Square Garden in the NIT. Pittsburgh has won the last eight contests between the two teams, including an 82-63
win at Pittsburgh last season. PC’s last win over Pittsburgh was a 77-61 victory on January 23, 2001 in Providence. Pittsburgh will be making its first appearance in Providence since February 15, 2006.
Projo.com: PC vs. Pitt: Friars set to face new No. 1
If Pitt can stay anywhere near the top spot, it will earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever. If the Panthers keep playing like they are right now, they could advance to the school’s first Final Four since 1941.
Barring an upset, the Friars five seniors will end their home careers in a game where they figure to be overmatched, a game against a team whose goal is to get to the Final Four while the Friars’ is to get to the NCAA Tournament.
NBE Providence: Providence Set to Host No. 1 Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh has reclaimed the No. 1 ranking atop both the AP and Coaches Polls and will but that ranking on the line with a couple of road games this week, beginning with a trip to Providence to take on the Friars.
PittsburghPanthers.com: Men’s Basketball Travels to Providence for Tuesday Matchup at 7 p.m.
Riding a seven-game win streak and six-game league win streak, No. 4 ranked Pitt (25-2, 12-2 Big East) travels to Rhode Island to take on Providence (16-11, 8-7 Big East) Tuesday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET. Pitt has four more Big East regular season games remaining.
PittNews.com: Davis, Providence look to knock down No. 1 Panthers
Last season, Keno Davis took the Drake Bulldogs — a program expected to finish near the bottom of the Missouri Valley Conference — and helped them to a 28-5 record and a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Now, one year later, the reigning AP Coach of the Year hopes to surprise the college basketball world once again by upsetting the top-ranked team in the NCAA.
Pitt Blather: The Game is Almost Sidebar
For Providence, it is about facing the #1 team. A team that sure seems scary when someone else writes about them.
No one seems to be giving Providence much of a chance despite being above .500 in the conference. Perhaps that is because they just have won and lost the games that were expected.
BleacherReport: This Week at the Pete: Pitt Makes a Statement
It has been almost five years since Aaron Gray threw down the dunk heard round New England in a 27 point defeat of a highly ranked Providence squad. The Providence basketball program has not been the same since that game and Tuesday night is their chance to exorcise some demons.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: No. 1 ranking in April is Pitt’s goal
Pitt will be No. 1 again when the national polls are released today, but don’t expect a Super Bowl-like celebration on the Oakland campus. It was a big deal when it happened in early January for the first time in school history. The first time in anything is always terrific. But it doesn’t seem quite so important now even if it still is a tremendous accomplishment.
Pitt has bigger plans.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pitt Basketball: Biggs’ improved play no small thing
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon wasn’t about to place Tyrell Biggs’ picture on a milk carton, but his starting power forward had seemed to have gone missing from the Pitt offense for more than a month.
Biggs had gone 10 games between posting double digits before he scored 13 points in Pitt’s 80-61 victory against DePaul Saturday night at the Petersen Events Center.
UPDATE: Listen to KMac’s Audio Preview