URI gears up for showdown with Creighton

Rams hold first practice at Golden 1 Center

SACRAMENTO (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Rams took the floor in Sacramento Thursday as they get ready to dance for the first time in almost two decades.

The team shot around and got acquainted with their surroundings at the Golden 1 Center, home court of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.

The Rams hope their hot shooting from their past few games will continue Friday afternoon as they take on the 6-seed Creighton Bluejays.

“It’s a great opportunity for the program,” said head coach Dan Hurley. “These guys here, the program, get on a national stage and play a game in front of the country on Friday and just be a part of March Madness.”

URI will be looking to get their first tournament win since then-future NBA guard Cuttino Mobley led the Rams to the Elite Eight back in 1998.

Since joining the program in 2012, Hurley has worked tirelessly to bring the team back to prominence.

“All the hard work we’ve put in the past four years to rebuild the program is showing up now,” said forward Hassan Martin. “Hopefully, when I get out of here the program can become a tournament-dominant team. I’m just enjoying this right now.”

Both Mobley and Lamar Odom – who was a member of the last URI team to make the Big Dance in 1999 – are expected to be in attendance Friday to root on the Rams.

Tipoff for Friday’s game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on TBS.

Eyewitness Sports Director Yianni Kourakis will be with the team throughout the tournament. He’ll have live reports from Sacramento tonight on Eyewitness News at 10 and 11.

NCAA TOURNAMENT CENTRAL: NCAA Streaming, Schedule, Brackets |  Image Zone: NCAA Tournament | Social Stream