BUFFALO, N.Y. (WPRI) — The Providence College Friars are on to the next round.
The Friars defeated the Jackrabbits from South Dakota State by a score of 66-57 on Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
They’ll go on to face the No. 12 Richmond Spiders on Saturday, who stunned No. 5 Iowa.
It was the Friars’ second NCAA Tournament win since 1997.
Even though Providence was a 4-seed going up against a 13-seed, they were only two-point favorites heading into the contest and SDSU was a trendy upset pick on people’s brackets.
The Friars, however, were able to achieve exactly what they set out to do: prove to the world that it wasn’t just luck that got them to this point.
“What a St. Patrick’s Day … we’re still here,” head coach Ed Cooley said.
“In order to advance in these tournaments, there has to be some luck, and I think we’re crazy if we don’t think that and our players are kind of driving off of it,” he later added. “If luck is the narrative that continues to keep us connected in winning, we’ll take it. It just so happens it’s St. Patrick’s Day and I’ve kind of been joking about it, but it’s real. You know, you’ve got to be lucky in order to be successful, no matter if we’re in game or in life.”
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It was a good team win for Providence, who led in every key offensive category and held SDSU to 29 points below their season average.
Eight Friars contributed to the scoring, with Al Durham and Noah Horchler leading the way with 13 points apiece and Jared Bynum adding 12 off the bench.
By way of comparison, SDSU got no points from the three players who came off their bench.
“It’s been like this all season. We come off the bench and we give our team energy,” PC forward Ed Croswell said after the game.
12 Sports Director Morey Hershgordon will have live reports from Buffalo with more reaction from the players, coaches and their fans on 12 News starting at 4.
Stay with 12 Sports for updates throughout Providence College’s run in the tournament, and don’t miss our next one-on-one with Coach Cooley this Sunday at 10:30 p.m. on FOX Providence.
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