jeremy compton(berkeley springs, WV) [via mobile]: With the obvious dominance of the big east teams (we ‘could’ have 3 #1 seeds but that won’t happen) why not let Providence in? yes, they looked terrible against L’ville (oh that is right L’ville could easily walk away with a national title and may be the #1 team in the country) but I think they dominate or at least handle a Mich, Md, Kan…..should I go on? time to give props and the big east is IT in college basketball! If I am duke and given a #2 seed because I ‘use’ to be good. I am praying to any basketball god that will listen “PLEASE don’t let WVU, SYC, Nova be in my bracket”. because we are not good enough to beat them.
Joe Lunardi: Providence has had plenty of chances to earn an at-large bid. With one or two exceptions it has not gone their way. Doesn’t have anything to do with being in the “it” conference.
Woh, first of all, this guy wrote all that from a mobile device? Man alive I hope he didn’t use one of those crappy phones without a keypad, where you have to press 1 twice just to get a “B”. Second of all, nice question!
Jimmy (Chesapeake, VA): Who is the best team who is going to miss out of the NCAA tournament and probably going to the NIT? Rhode Island, Davidson, Temple, or Providence?
Joe Lunardi: None of these, Eric, and certainly not Rhode Island or Providence. How about Arizona? Or Florida? Or UNLV? Or a potentially healthy Saint Mary’s? Or Creighton?
Wait, so are you saying you like Providence? I’m not clear.
Chris (Providence): Any chance Providence gets in like Air Force did a few years ago?
Joe Lunardi: Always a chance, but this committee is smarter than that. Plus, Providence is way more qualified than Air Force in 2006
With PC’s NCAA fate out of their hands, it’s only hope is for the rest of the bubble teams to falter and for no other surprises in the mid-major tournaments to happen. Here is what we need REALLY BAD today.
Let’s face it: It’ll be quite some time before anyone at Madison Square Garden will be talking about anything other than that six-overtime classic between Syracuse and Connecticut on Thursday night. The only Big East mystery besides seeding that remains is Providence, the last bubble team from the league. The Friars lost to Louisville 73-55 in Thursday’s second round, probably ending their hopes of getting an at-large bid. Providence finished 10-8 in Big East play, but its only high-end victories came against Syracuse and Pittsburgh. With a 2-8 record against RPI top-50 foes and 6-13 mark against the top 100, the Friars will probably be left out of the NCAA field on Selection Sunday.
Providence [19-13 (10-8), RPI: 71, SOS: 60] After Thursday’s 18-point loss to Louisville, it doesn’t look great for PC. Other teams on the bubble simply have more meat on their resumes. The Friars upset then-No. 1 Pittsburgh 81-73 on Feb. 24 and 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 2-8 against RPI top-50 foes and 6-13 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.
It’s definitely a bleary eyed morning after watching the epic Syracuse-UCONN game last night. Definitely the greatest game I’ve ever seen, and I almost missed it. After PC’s loss yesterday, I wasn’t in much of a mood to watch any more basketball for the day. I didn’t even have the Villanova-Marquette game on in the background. Eh, so I missed a buzzer beater. I was pretty tired from the previous day/night at the Garden, so I was just about to head to bed around 11 something. But then in the bottom of my screen, up popped a few Twitter messages from Sean over at “Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician”, saying something about not fouling. Woh, was Syracuse about to pull off an upset?
I quickly switched to ESPN and I saw Eric Devendorf celebrating. They showed the replay several times, and I just thought WOW. His last millisecond three-pointer that would have won the game was called off, and they were heading to OT. And then another OT, and another. Soon, it was into the SIXTH overtime. It was really unbelievable. Everytime it looked like UCONN would pull away, Syracuse made an amazing comeback. People were fouling out left and right, and several walk-ons were now playing. Syracuse did not lead AT ALL in the first five overtimes, but then just throttled a tired and Thabeetless UCONN in the 6th (or bottom of the 8th). Jonny Flynn was the star of the game. The guy played like 70 minutes or something, and still was able to drive to the hoop and score/get fouled in every overtime.
I really don’t like either program, but I was rooting for UCONN in the beginning solely for the reason that Eric Devendorf would look like an ass celebrating his waived off shot (instead of celebrating with his teammates, he immediately jumped on the scorers table and taunted fans). By the end, I was just rooting for as many overtimes as possible, to make this epic game even better. I’m glad I got to see it.
If the Friars were playing anybody else Thursday, Pitino surely would have cringed.
Instead, he watched the Friars nearly match a Big East tournament record with 26 turnovers, and his fifth-ranked Louisville Cardinals eventually find their own offensive rhythm in a sloppy 73-55 quarterfinal victory.
After today’s 73-55 loss to the top-seeded Louisville Cardinals in a Big East tourney quarterfinal game, the NCAA’s selection committee owns one answer to a PC-related question already. With the notable exception of the Friars’ upset of the Panthers, this team doesn’t match up against the upper-crust Big East teams. Louisville, Connecticut and Villanova are a combined 5-0 against Providence this season.
After watching the Cardinals handcuff Providence as well as any opponent all season, it’s safe to say the Friars don’t want to see Louisville again anytime soon. PC shot just 34 percent, made 2-of-17 threes and turned the ball over 26 times. The three players who handled the ball the most – Sharaud Curry, Weyinmi Efejuku and Geoff McDermott – combined for 16 turnovers.
One more thing. Digger Phelps just turned on us. He has Penn State (10-8 Big Ten) IN and us (10-8 Big East) OUT. John Saunders called him out on this, and he responded by saying, “yeah, but Providence had a weak schedule, VERY weak.” He also said “Providence didn’t play any top 4 Big East teams twice.” We played Villanova twice, jackass.
Given all of the factors surrounding this game – Providence playing for its NCAA Tourney life, our guys maybe being a bit too juiced after accepting the championship trophy last night and playing in their first game of the tournament this afternoon, etc. – I think it’d be wise for us to take this 18-point win, rush it home, hide it somewhere where no one will ever find it and then never speak about any of this ever again.
After scooping up a loose ball early in the going Thursday, with absolutely no one in his sight except fans situated behind the basket, Louisville’s Terrance Williams primed for a jaw-dropping statement finish.
The All-Big East forward got the dropping part right, anyway. As Williams cocked the ball for a tomahawk dunk, it slipped from his hands and back into the mitts of Big East tournament quarterfinal opponent Providence.
Providence (19-13) will most likely end up hosting a game in the National Invitation Tournament. The Friars do not have much of a case for an at-large bid to the tournament outside of their upset of Pittsburgh, which was No. 1 at the time.
Clark, a 6-9 junior, and the 6-8 Samuels were simply far too athletic and dominant inside for the Friars (19-13), who were led by senior Weyinmi Efejuku’s 17 points. Providence will now have to sweat it out until Sunday’s NCAA Tournament selection to find out if its 19 wins, including one over then-No. 1 Pitt, will be enough to get into the field of 65.
It always seems to come back to the Garden for Pitino. He signed with UMass here, was an assistant with the New York Knicks, then head coach at Providence when this tournament was going strong, then back to the Knicks as the head man and now bringing a team all the way from Kentucky in as this tournament’s top seed.
The Providence Friars have been eliminated from the BIG EAST Tournament.
Louisville’s pressure defense and strong inside game was just too much for the Friars, as they defeat PC 73-55. It was an incredibly sloppy game on both ends — both teams had 20+ turnovers. However, the Friars couldn’t shoot the ball well at all, finishing 21-62 from the field (33.9%), and a disastrous 2-17 (11.8%) from behind the arc. Sharaud Curry was 1-6 and Jeff Xavier was 0-6 from downtown. Only two Friars finished in double digits, with Weyimi Efejuku leading with 17, and Geoff McDermott registering 11 points. Xavier, McDermott, and Efejuku all had at least 5 turnovers.
Earl Clark led the game in scoring, finishing with an impressive double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman stud Samardo Samuels was also strong inside, scoring 22 points on 10-13 shooting. Terrance Williams was held to only 6 points, but it did not matter since the rest of the front-court was so dominant.
The announcers were quick to pronounce Providence’s NCAA Tournament hopes dead, but Hubert Davis in the studio correctly pointed out that there is still a small chance the Friars could grab a bid. If a lot of bubble teams falter this weak, and there are no more surprises in the small conference tournaments, Providence can sneak in as one of the last teams. Their performance this afternoon at the Garden isn’t going to do he Friars any favors, but they will still have their 10-8 conference record and the Pittsburgh and Syrcause wins to hang their hat on.