In the first round of the Big East Tournament, the Cincinnati Bearcats defeated Providence in one special kind of ugly game, 61-44. The loss looks like a deathblow to the Friars’ chances at having a legitimate shot with the Selection Committee on Sunday.
Most experts assumed that Providence not only had to beat Cincy, but sneak its way past the Georgetown Hoyas in the next round as well. Well, considering the Big East Tournament doesn’t have a loser’s bracket, the Friars have officially run out of ways to improve upon their resume.
Providence finishes its pre-postseason (see what I did there?) with a 17-14 overall record, an 82 RPI, and a 61 BPI. Despite some plenty of good wins against the likes of the Villanova Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Cincy — it will likely not be enough for the Selection Committee to put the Friars past some much more deserving teams on the bubble.
However, Friars fans need not hang their heads low — as Ed Cooley has set the table for a long and bright future for the program. This season Providence definitely exceeded expectations and became a force in the conference a year earlier then expected.
With another good recruiting class coming in next year and a hopefully injury, transfer-free squad returning plenty of talent, Providence is in a prime position to become a top dog in the Catholic Seven version of the Big East next season.
Nothing wrong with exceeding expectations and falling short of the NCAA Tournament this year — Providence will likely use the NIT as a way to further the program’s time in the limelight.