The Providence Crier is back from hiatus! I was away at a bachelor party in Scottsdale, AZ this past week to attend the Waste Management Phoenix Open and to watch Tom Brady receive all the glory that comes with attaining football immortality. I returned to Boston Monday morning at 2 am and while I did plan to write a preview for PC @ Seton Hall I never got around to it. Bachelor parties take longer to recover from then I anticipated, I’ve spent the majority of this week either working or sleeping. I also spent it watching last Wednesday’s game, which saw the Friars fail to execute late in the game once again and thus falling to Seton Hall 72-70 in OT. With the loss the Friars have seen their record drop to 14-11 and 4-8 in the Big East. Baring a New England Patriots-esque miracle it appears the Friars will miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2012-2013 season. On the flip side baring a Atlanta Falcons-esque collapse down the stretch it appears that the Friars will have their 5th consecutive winning season and thus qualify for postseason basketball, even if it isn’t the NCAA tournament. It appears that the Friars will most likely be NIT bound and believe it or not Friartown that may not be a bad thing.
Before I continue let me make one thing clear, I am disappointed that the Friars most likely won’t make the NCAA Tournament for a school record 4th consecutive season. Going into the year I had a lot of doubts the Friars would make the Tournament again and still had doubts despite success early on in the season. Then going into the BC game with the Friars sitting at 10-2 I was ready to believe this Friar team could really make some noise this season. I truly believed that the defense was good enough to keep us within striking distances in most of our games and while it has the Friars haven’t had enough to get over the hump. At the same point I don’t think the rest of the season is a wash either. The Friars have their next three games against ranked opponents, with two of them at the Dunk. There is plenty of opportunity for the Friars to close out the season on a positive note even if it doesn’t mean a NCAA birth.
While 10 times out of 10 I would tell you a NCAA Tournament birth is better then an invitation to the NIT, and it is, I just think going to the NIT could be beneficial for this group. Would you rather the Friars get a double digit seed and play in a game the most likely won’t win or would you rather play in a tournament where this team can make a run? I think any tournament experience, whether its Big East, NCAA or NIT, is good experience especially for a team that will return a bunch of guys next year. I also think it could be very beneficial for the development of young guys Diallo, White and Young. I know that a NIT appearance would put even more of a chip on Kyron Cartwright’s shoulders. The Friars team next year will probably be picked pre-season in the top half of the confernce (although who knows maybe Georgetown will be there instead) and I just feel a run in the NIT would be beneficial.
The PC Butler right up to follow…