(Photo via pcbb1917.com)
This past Saturday, the Friars ended their regular season campaign with a trip to the big city, Manhattan, to take on the St. Johns Red Storm at Madison Square Garden. The time that lead up to this final match-up before the Big East Tournament at the end of this week has been a complete roller coaster for the Friars. They are a team that has shown greatness at times, and at other times have been down right embarrassing.
The season that kicked off way back in November of 2015, began as exhilarating as ever. The Friars won their first six contests, including an upset of the 11th ranked team at the time, Arizona. Providence’s domination of the NCAA continued into January of 2016, and after their game on January 2nd against St. John’s at home, their record stood at 14-1. The team had a ranking in the top 15, and everything seemed right in Friartown. It was after this game however that the team hit the peak of the roller coaster, and the way down began.
While the team did rattle off three wins in their next five games, including one over Villanova, the team started losing at a more rapid rate. Their worst span went from January 26th all the way to February 25th. In this span, the team went 2-6 and lost games to unranked opponents consisting of DePaul, Marquette, and Seton Hall; along with those loses, the team also nearly blew an immense twenty-point halftime lead, only holding onto win by three.
Luckily for the Friars, they won their final three games of the season in wins over DePaul, Creighton, and St. John’s. If the Friars are going to look for hope in the upcoming Big East Tournament, it should be that in their final game against St. John’s, they put up 90 points and saw outstanding performances from Ben Bentil, Kris Dunn, and the most surprising of them all, Jalen Lindsey who’s three-point shot came alive at the Garden. The Friars (22-9) first round matchup is against Butler (21-9), whom the Friars beat in both meetings this season, is this Thursday afternoon at 2:30 pm.
– K. Troy