PC Given 11 Seed in NCAA Tournament, Faces USC in First Four Game

Monday, March 13, 2017
Joe Calabro, GoLocalProv Sports Team

PC Basketball gets back to NCAA Tournament for 4th straight year
The Providence College Friars are back in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight season. 

The Friars were given an 11 seed by the NCAA Selection Committee on Sunday night and will play the USC Trojans in the first four game on Wednesday night. 

Game time is set for 9 p.m. 

This will be the second straight season in which the Friars and Trojans will meet in the NCAA Tournament with the Friars winning last year.  

If the Friars win, they will play Saint Marys on Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. 

PC This Season 

After being projected to finish ninth in the preseason, Providence finished the regular season with a 20-11 overall record, and a 10-8 record in the Big East. 

PC was a three seed in the Big East Tournament before losing to Creighton in the first round. 

PC Tournament History 

This will be the Friars 19th appearance in the NCAA Tournament where they carry an overall record of 15-19 in those games. 

Last season, the Friars won their first NCAA Tournament game in 19 years, beating the USC Trojans 70-69 on a Rodney Bullock layup in the final seconds. 

The Friars would go on to lose to top seeded North Carolina two nights later. 

For more on PC's NCAA Tournament history, see the charts below. 

  • 1972-73 NCAA Final Four

    Led by Ernie DiGregorio, Marvin Barnes and Kevin Stacom, this was Providence's best shot at winning a National Title...until Barnes went down with a knee injury in the semifinals against Memphis State.  An anticipated matchup for the championship with Bill Walton's legendary UCLA Bruins never materialized.  But this team did finish 27-4, and entertained scores of fans across the country...while creating a buzz about PC hoops that still exists today. (rirhof.org)

     
  • 1986-87 NCAA Final Four

    This wasn't the best Friar team of all time...and probably not the most-talented.  But it was, perhaps, the most magical.  And it did have talent, led by Billy Donovan, Jacek Duda, Dave Kipfer, Ernie "Pop" Lewis and Delray Brooks.   But the best attribute of this team was shooting the three, and believing in themselves.  These Friars finished 25-9, and lost in the National semifinals to Syracuse(realclearsports.com)

     
  • 1996-97 NCAA Elite Eight

    This Providence team was one of the most-talented teams ever assembled on Smith Hill...but as the legend goes, had a hard time getting along with each other.  Pete Gillen led these Friars to within a missed jump-shot of a berth in the Final Four, but did get into overtime in the Regional Final against eventual national champ Arizona before falling.  God Shammgod, Austin Croshere, Jamel Thomas, Ruben Garces and Derrick "Flight" Brown whipped Duke along the way to a 24-12 record, gaining legendary status, fame, and perhaps near-fortune. (friarbasketball.com)

     
  • 1959-60 NIT Finalists

    No, this team did not win the NIT...which at the time was considered the TRUE National Championship Tournament.  But it was this team (along with the NIT team in 1959) that helped create the passion for Friar Basketball in Providence, and throughout the state of Rhode Island.  Led by Hall-of-Famer Lenny Wilkens, and head coach Joe Mullaney, PC arrived on national scene as well.  Big man James Hadnot led the Friars in scoring and rebounding. (providence.edu)

     
  • 1960-61 NIT Champions

    It wasn't the NCAA Championship, but at the time, the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) WAS the national championship, and the Friars won it in 1961...defeating St. Louis 62-59 at Madison Square Garden in New York behind Vinny Ernst and James Hadnot.  PC finished 24-5, Hadnot averaged nearly 20 points and more than 16 rebounds per game, while Ernst was a whirling dervish on the floor (look that one up)! (providence.edu)

     
  • 1962-63 NIT Champions

    There was one more championship team in Providence history, as two years after the first one, the '62-'63 Friars returned to the NIT throne room by winning 15 straight games to finish the season at 24-4.  Former Boston mayor and US Ambassador to the Vatican Ray Flynn led PC in scoring, along with legendary Georgetown coach John Thompson, Jr.  Vinny Ernst was also on this team as a senior, winning two titles in his Providence career. (Flynn & Ernst, providence.edu)

     
  • 1993-94 Big East Champion

    In the Big East era, it's tough to leave this team off of any list...even though they did not have success in the NCAA Tournament in 1994.  But PC's first Big East title came after a talented team caught fire in the '94 event at the Garden, led by Rob Phelps, Eric Williams, former Central HS and CCRI star Abdul Abdullah, Dickey Simpkins and Michael Smith - one of the best rebounders the league has ever seen.  The Friars finished 20-10, winning the Big East, but lost to Alabama in the NCAA Tournament 1st round. (Williams & Phelps, wordpress.com)

     
  • 2013-14 Big East Champion

    It's hard to say, when they have yet to prove much on the national stage...but this year's Friar team deserves to be ranked with the best in school history just from the story of their journey(s) alone.  Bryce Cotton came from Arizona without another Division I offer; injury and suspension depleting the roster; two transfer players playing significant roles; Coach and Providence-native Ed Cooley, whose house caught on fire during the year...it goes on and on.  One heck of a ride and a story...and it's still going. (Cotton, twcc.com)

     
  • 1964-65 NCAA Reg. Finals

    It wasn't known as the "Elite 8" then, but the '64-'65 Friars were certainly one of the best teams in the school's athletic history.  Finishing 24-2 and ranked 4th in the national polls, the Jimmy Walker-led Friars were beaten by Bill Bradley's Princeton team in the NCAA's, just missing out on the Final Four.  Sophomores Walker, Dexter Westbrook and future NY Knick Mike Riordan led this group of Friars, along with James Benedict and Bill Blair.  This team may have been coach Joe Mullaney's most talented. (Westbrook & Walker, friarbasketball.com)

     
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