So the Friars have been the last team in Joe Lunardi’s “Next Four Out” section for the past couple of nights on Bracketology after the win over Seton Hall. ESPN also updated their Bubble Watch, which finally includes the Providence Friars.
Providence [17-12 (9-8), RPI: 77, SOS: 59] How soft is this bubble? Soft enough that if you stare really hard at it, you come to the at-first baffling conclusion that you must at least consider Providence at the very tail end of at-large tournament contention. To be honest, like fellow fringer Iowa, Ed Cooley’s team has been a lot better than you think this season (albeit not as good as the Hawkeyes — just similarly underrated). Their resume, on the other hand? Other than two home wins over Cincinnati and Notre Dame, a suddenly impressive sweep over Villanova and seven wins in their past eight, there’s still not much there. But would a win at UConn on Saturday get them close? Closer, at least. Worth keeping an eye on.