Friars hope to bounce Trojans for 2nd straight year

DAYTON, Ohio (WPRI) — The Providence College men’s basketball team is gearing up for their first NCAA Tournament matchup against the University of Southern California since, well, this time last year.

It was a last-second layup from Rodney Bullock that lifted the 9th-seeded Friars over the 8th-seeded Trojans in the first round of last year’s tournament, earning Providence their first tournament win in 19 years.

Now, the two squads will face off in one of this year’s four play-in games. The winner will become the 11th-seed in the East and take on Southern Methodist University in the first round.

PC was 3-6 against ranked teams this season while USC went 1-6. The Friars ended the regular season with six straight wins but were quickly bumped from the Big East Tournament by Creighton.

Tipoff for Wednesday’s game in Dayton, Ohio, is scheduled for 9:10 p.m. EDT.

In the meantime, the URI men’s team will be traveling to Sacramento, Calif. on Wednesday. The Rams earned an automatic bid by taking home the Atlantic 10 crown over the weekend. Coincidentally, they’ll go up against 6th-seeded Creighton in the first round.

The PC Athletic Department is set to host a watch party for Wednesday night’s game at GPub in downtown Providence. Eyewitness News will be there and will have live coverage at 10 and 11.