Providence, R.I. (WPRI) – For the second consecutive year, the Providence College Friars have earned a bid in the NCAA tournament.
The 6th-seeded Friars (22-11), will take on the winner of Boise State and Dayton’s play-in game on Friday (game time 9:57p.m.).
- Brackets on CBSSports.com: 2015 NCAA Tournament Bracket
If the Friars win, they’ll take on the winner of Oklahoma and Albany.
Providence lost a heartbreaker to Villanova 63-61 in the semifinals of the Big East tournament Friday. The Wildcats won the conference championship a day later and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
The Friars went 5-5 in their final ten games of the season, but the strong performance in the conference tournament gives the team some momentum as it heads into the big dance.
Sophomore Kris Dunn, the Big East co-player of the year, has emerged as an elite point guard in college basketball, averaging 15.8 points and 7.6 assists per game. Senior LaDontae Henton leads the team in scoring at 19.7 points per game.
The Friars will appear in the field of 64 for the second straight year for the first time since the 1988-89 and 1989-90 seasons. The team hasn’t reached the second weekend of the tournament since 1997, when it lost in the regional final.
Last year, the Friars won their second Big East title before losing to North Carolina in the first game of the NCAA tournament.
The team has become a regular in the postseason since it hired coach Ed Cooley before the start of the 2011 season. Under Cooley, the Friars have twice qualified for the NCAA tournament and once appeared in the NIT
Providence is the only team from Rhode Island to earn a trip to the NCAA tournament. The University of Rhode saw its hopes end Saturday when it lost to Dayton 56-52 in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament. Bryant lost in the semifinals of the Northeast Conference tournament to Robert Morris.