Archives For NIT

What better way to get things started than looking at the mascot of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (also known as N.C.-Charlotte, N.C.-Char, North Carolina-Charlotte, UNC, UNC-C, UNCC) 49ers?

Is it the 49ers mascot or a homeless man at Kennedy Plaza that keeps asking you for bus fare even though he has nowhere to go?

Charlotte played its regular season basketball in the Atlantic 10, although they will be moving to Conference USA as of July 2013, and finished with the same winning percentage, .500, as our beloved Providence Friars did. Wins over La Salle, Xavier and UMass headlined their resume early on in the season.

A one point loss at Temple and a seven point loss at home to VCU gave reason for some excitement because of the way they hung with and nearly upset two of the top two teams in the league and both NCAA Tournament selections.

Their best win of the year came against the forever known Cinderella of college basketball in the Butler Bulldogs. The 49ers were led by Pierria Henry, dropping 17 points including two late free throws, to end a twelve game win streak Butler had at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Just when you thought Ed Cooley had the best one or two liners after big wins or losses, look no further than Charlotte head coach Alan Major to change your mind.

“Does anybody have a stretcher?” Charlotte coach Alan Major said. “I may need to be carried out of here after that one.”

Just for future reference coach: a please wouldn’t kill you.

Sadly for Coach Major, most of you reading this wouldn’t mind him to utter these words after his team gets done at the Dunk Wednesday night.

They enter their NIT game against the Friars coming off a decisive loss at the hands of St. Louis in Atlantic 10 quarterfinals. At 21-11, 8-8, don’t expect Charlotte to succumb to the pressure of facing a school from a power six conference as the 49ers faced Miami and Florida State in their non-conference season.

Led by Chris Braswell, Pierria Henry and Willie Clayton, the 49ers are a deep rebounding time that isn’t afraid to hit the glass. Braswell averaged nearly 12 points per game to go along with 5.5 boards. The senior forward will do his best to keep his career alive and will try and go to work on the low block early on in the game. Henry is probably their most prolific scorer as the sophomore guard has shown he can score in bunches. He scored 17 against a very good guard defending team in Butler and a season high 28 points and 12 rebounds against Richmond in the A-10 tournament to put the team on his shooting hand, and free throw line as he scored his final 8 at the free throw line after the much talked about controversial ending and technical fouls.

There isn’t much that Charlotte can throw at the Friars that they haven’t seen this year, except maybe Norm The Niner.

Can we all acknowledge that in a mascot with a drugged out dragon, a bear in the Bloods, a cigarette butt and a nightmare-fuel pig, Niner is SOMEHOW the awkward one? Thanks.

In their quarterfinal game against St. Louis, Braswell noted the one thing that Charlotte could not contend with.

“They were just speeding us up,” Braswell said. “We were just rushing, trying to make home run passes.”

If there is one thing that Council, Cotton and Dunn can do to you is speed you up. It isn’t a style the Friars have seen much of this season as Ed Cooley prefers to milk some clock and run the different half court sets he has in place, but he has always said he is the type of coach that wants his teams to get up and down. Kadeem Batts should be able to hold his own and more against a heavily dependent front-court team in the 49ers.

One thing to keep an eye out for is the how the Friars start. It has said time and time again over the last few weeks that Cooley has been unable to get the start he, nor the fans, have been hoping for. After an emotional win against Richmond, Charlotte showed very little resistance against St. Louis.

Earlier today I post a little something on Facebook asking you all what article you’d like to see – a Cincy recap, a postseason discussion, or a reflection on one particular player.

Thankfully, you guys picked the postseason article. Because God knows deep down I was going to do everything in my power to avoid doing a Cincy recap.

So, you asked for it, now you got it! Hit the jump and let’s talk about the Friars in the postseason!

Continue Reading…

NIT Bracket Challenge Update

dave@friarblog —  March 18th, 2009 2:40 PM

With half of the first round of the NIT over, here are the current standings for the NIT Bracket Challenge (34 contestants).

5 people were a perfect 8-8 in the picks, including yours truly (go Davidson!).  Three of those 5 have Providence to win it all, so a loss tonight would wipe out the perfectioness.

Here is the top 10 (1 pt for a 1st round correct pick)

1 Friarblog 8

2 Chris 8

3 FriarMike 8

4 Jonathan Hegler 8

5 Jim Curis 8

6 Ryan Meyer 7

7 RRRMan 7

8 sapcfriar 7

9 Dante Carnevale 7

10 Gillen4 7

Here is your updated bracket

2009 NIT Bracket: Day 1 Round 1 Complete

Rhody and Steph Advance [NIT]

dave@friarblog —  March 18th, 2009 1:44 AM

Two #6 seeds picked up upsets over #3 seeds on Wednesday night in the first round of the NIT (2-0 in the NIT Bracket Challenge baby!).  Is the #3/#6 game akin to the #5/#12 games of the NCAA Tournament?  It appears so!

URI beat #3 Niagra 68-62 thanks to Kahiem Seawright’s 20 2nd half points (23 overall), and Jimmy Baron, who scored 20 points overall — including 6 big foul shots in the final 40 seconds.

(AP Photo/Don Heupel)

#6 Davidson also won, defeating #3 South Carolina 70-63.  Some guy named Stephen Curry led all scorers with 32 points (9-19 shooting, 5-9 from downtown).  Apparently this guy is a postseason MACHINE, no matter what the tournament is.

If St. Mary’s can beat Washington State (11PM ESPN2), we will get a Patty Mills vs. Steph Curry game!  Who said the NIT was lame!?!

I’m sure everyone has about 5-10 of their own NCAA Tournament Brackets to fill out, so I figured why start another one with readers of   To change things up, I decided to put together an NIT Bracket Challenge Contest!

It wasn’t easy to find, but I found a site where you can create your own bracket and enter in the custom teams.  The NIT gets no love!


NOTE: This will take you to a login screen where you have to register.  It’ll send you a confirmation email, so the link might get lost…after you login, just go back to this link.  When you register, try to use your same handle from the comments / messageboards so we know whos who in the standings.

When you enter in your picks, you can only enter in one round at a time before you have to click “submit” in order to keep going to the next round.


One entry per-person




Round 1: 1 point

Round 2: 2 points

Quarterfinals: 4 points

Semifinals: 8 points

Picking the winner: 16 points


Championship Game Score Prediction

I was perusing through the “Team Manual” PDF on the official NIT site.  Yes, it’s been a depressing Monday.

First of all, due to a scheduling conflict at Miami’s home court on Wednesday, the first round NIT matchup between #4 seed Miami and #5 Providence will be in Providence at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.  Why didn’t they just make us the higher seed?!?  Stay classy, NIT.  Anyway, how does that affect the game?

Team Uniforms
Color of uniform – the higher-seeded (home) team shall wear the light jersey.  The lower-seeded  (away) team must wear a contrasting color.

OK, so we know PC has to wear the road black uniforms.  Fine.

National Anthem
The higher-seeded (home) team’s band shall be given the first option to play the national anthem  prior to the game. If they defer, the lower-seeded team’s band will be given the option. If neither band is present or defers, the facility should provide a recording of the anthem.

Sweet, so Miami’s band (if they even bring them) might play the national anthem.

So will Miami get to have the more fancy player intros with lights off and spot lights before the game since they are the home team?  Apparently no team will.

There should be no “lights out”, laser shows, light shows, smoke shows, etc. during introductions  or during any part of a tournament game.

Well at least we will have our fans there ready to make a lot of noise.

Artificial Noisemakers
Artificial noisemakers, air horns and electronic amplifiers shall not be permitted, and such instruments shall be removed from the playing and spectator areas. The director of athletics shall be responsible for enforcing these provisions.

Disseminating Items
Cheerleading squads MAY NOT throw items (e.g., t-shirts, souvenir basketballs) into the general public seating areas at any time (including pre-game). In addition, spirit groups, alumni  groups or others affiliated with a competing institution may not place items in their institution’s
ticketed area prior to the game (i.e., pom poms, t-shirts, etc.).

Signs and Flags
Large signs, flags, or banners are not permitted. It is the director of athletics’ responsibility to  confiscate all prohibited articles. No sign, flags or banners of any size may be affixed to the facility. Items that can be held by one individual, reflect good sportsmanship and do not block
the view of other ticketed patrons may be permitted.

Flags of any size may be displayed or waved on the court only during pre-game activities and at half-time. The flags will not be permitted on the court during timeouts.

I’m sure the NCAA has these strict rules in place around all of college basketball  (about airhorns, offensive signs, and stuff).  It just seems a little harsh, ya know?  We can’t hand out towels?  I mean, geesh, can Friar Dom at least walk around and get people to cheer?

Game in Progress
Spirit squads and mascots are required to be seated or kneeling at all times when the game is in  progress.

Man, sounds like it’s going to be an awesome time for the fans there.  Surprised they don’t have

You must be remained seated at ALL TIMES, and must NEVER cross your legs!

Arms must be kept at your sides.

You may only cheer once every five minutes!

Every fan in attendance must wear grey, drab clothing!


At least they will be able to drown themselves in all the alcohol usually sold at the DUNK.

e. On dates of competition, no alcoholic beverages or “nonalcoholic beer” shall be  sold or dispensed for public or private consumption anywhere in the facility  property, other than in privately-owned suites specifically exempt by facility  contract. (Such beverages may not be delivered / brought to the site during the  time that the public has access to the facility for an NIT game).

What?  No alcohol?  That’s going to go over well.  Can the whole arena be exempt? Glad I’ll be home on my couch watching on ESPN2 while drinking beer, holding my over-sized signs/flags and blowing my airhorns without fear of getting in trouble by the NIT.

Here is the full manual

NIT Team Manual

Full NIT Bracket

dave@friarblog —  March 16th, 2009 1:51 PM

2009 NIT Bracket

A #5 Seed in the NIT?

dave@friarblog —  March 16th, 2009 2:07 AM

I realize this is “just the NIT”, but I was starting to come to grips with getting into following the tournament just as the Friars seed in the NIT was about to be announced.  Afterall, it’s more PC basketball to watch.

Then I hear this.

#5: Providence Friars

#4: Miami Hurricanes

A 5th seed in the NIT? How did we go from discussing Providence as one of the last teams out in the NCAA tournament to a #5 seed!?  In case you missed it, the BIG EAST had THREE #1 seeds in the NCAA Brackets (one of which the Friars beat).  The same BIG EAST that saw PC put up a 10-8 conference record.

Yet Notre Dame gets a #2 seed, even though they were 8-10?

I know the seed doesn’t really mean much, but seriously?  Did they put any thought into this?  Makes it hard to take the tournament seriously, if you ask me.

Anyway, that gives the Friars a first round matchup  versus #4 seed Miami (18-12, 7-9) Wednesday night at the DUNK (7PM on ESPN2).  Weird, why would the higher seed be the host team?  Because apparently Miami did not want to host it.  Super!  So we should have been a freakin’ AWAY team for a first round NIT game.  I give up.  Oh well, I’ll still be watching come Wednesday night.

If PC wins the first round, they would likely play Florida, who plays Jacksonville in their first game.

Here are all your matchups for the NIT

1. San Diego State
8. Weber State

4. Kansas State
5. Illinois State

3. South Carolina
6. Davidson

2. Saint Mary’s
7. Washington State

1. Auburn
8. UT-Martin

4. Tulsa
5. Northwestern

3. Baylor
6. Georgetown

2. Virginia Tech
7. Duquesne

1. Creighton
8. Bowling Green

4. Kentucky

3. New Mexico
6. Nebraska

2. Notre Dame
7. UAB

1. Florida
8. Jacksonville

4. Miami

3. Niagara
6. Rhode Island

2. Penn State
7. George Mason

LINKS Men’s Basketball To Host ACC Foe Miami In The NIT On Wednesday, March 18 Friars’ NCAA hopes rose and were dashed, so instead they head into the NIT for a matchup against Miami

It’s pretty clear that the Friars will land in the NIT (barring some Selection Committee Miracle).  While it’s a little disappointing, at least we can all have a stress-free Sunday.  In the meantime, Friar fans now have to check out to see where they stand in the NIT seedings.  Hey, at least we are “solidly in” this one!

As of Saturday morning, PC is a #3 seed, along with New Mexico, Miami, and Baylor (who are stil alive in their conference tournament.).

Here is their full bracket projection.

First round would have the Friars playing #6 seed Niagra (26-8, 14-4 MAAC).  I think the game would be at the Dunk on Wednesday.  It’s a shame the last game PC’s senior class will ever play at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center will no longer be the upset of #1 Pitt, but oh well.

H/T Tim