Providence, the lone remaining Big East bubble team, struggled to put away the Blue Demons on Wednesday before finally pulling away for an 83-74 win. Next up for the Friars: No. 1 seed Louisville in Thursday’s quarterfinals. With only two victories over RPI top-50 opponents, the Friars might have to beat the Cardinals to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament.
Providence [19-12 (10-8), RPI: 72, SOS: 49] The Friars won’t get much mileage from Wedneday’s nine-point victory over DePaul, which hadn’t beaten a Big East opponent this season until it upset Georgetown in Tuesday’s opening round. Providence will probably have to beat top-seeded Louisville on Thursday to have much of a chance of earning an at-large bid. Other teams on the bubble simply have more meat on their resume. The Friars upset then-No. 1 Pittsburgh 81-73 on Feb. 24 and also beat Syracuse 100-94 on Jan. 28. But those are really the only quality wins in Providence’s inflated 10-8 finish in Big East play. PC also swept games against Cincinnati and beat Rhode Island at home. Providence is 2-7 against RPI top-50 foes and 6-12 against the top 100. The Friars have four blowout road losses in Big East play, having lost at Connecticut by 33 points, Louisville by 18, Villanova by 17 and West Virginia by 27.
DePaul beat Georgetown? Fact checking FAIL.