Team: Providence Friars
Conference: Big East Conference
Coach: Ed Cooley
Record: 23-10, 10-8 in conference
KenPom Rank: 46
- Arizona (Wooden Legacy)
- @ Villanova
- Butler (x3)
Impact Players: Big man Ben Bentil has been a sensation that has swept the nation. He is a versatile big who can hit jumpers, grab rebounds, score the ball, and hit free-throws. Rarely do college forwards have as many tools as Bentil does.
Another superstar is senior guard Kris Dunn. Averaging 16 points per game, Dunn is an explosive guard that is a terrific passer and he often raises his teammates point total with his terrific passes. he will be a top-10 pick in this year's NBA draft as a junior.
How did they get in?: Providence was seemingly a lock for the NCAA Tournament all season long. Even with some bad losses and a handful of good wins, the Friars never seemed to be on the outside looking in. The win against Butler in the Big East Tournament secured their "lock" status with most bracketologists.
How far can they go?: Providence started the season 17-3 and looked like a real contender for the National Championship. They have fallen off a bit since their hot start, but the pieces to win are still there. With the way they defend they have a real shot to beat anyone in the nation.
Last NCAA Tournament appearance: The Friars last appeared in the big dance in 2015. They were knocked out immediately by the 11-seed Dayton Flyers. Providence hasn't won an NCAA Tournament game since 1997. Pete Gillen was the Friars coach back in 1997 when they reached the Elite Eight.