Entering Saturday afternoon, the Providence Friars had been an absolute tear over the course of their past eight games, earning themselves a spot on the bubble as they prepared for their regular season finale at UConn.
Even with the excellent month of February aiding their momentum, the Friars still needed a victory over UConn and another win to use to their advantage prior to the start of the Big East Tournament. The contest however, marked the Huskies’ final game of the season considering they are banned from the postseason due to low APR scores, so virtually UConn had nothing to lose.
Well, Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright combined for 39 points, while sophomore forward DeAndre Daniels chipped in with 19 in his own right, as the Huskies dispatched Providence in overtime. The loss is a difficult one for the Friars and although it puts Providence in a tough situation going into the Big East Tournament, there is still a glimmer of hope.
Had Providence won the game on Saturday afternoon, they could’ve had a better chance at qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. However, either way they need to produce in next week’s Big East Tournament, that’s the bottom line. In order for the Friars to be considered amongst the field of 68, the Friars need to make a serious run, which may probably means that if they don’t find themselves playing on Friday or Saturday of next week, then the NIT may be their ultimate destination.
The Friars must now try and re-group for one final stand as they await their first opponent in the Big East Tournament.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS