Providence College is a fairly small school in Rhode Island with about 4,000 students, but that hasn’t stopped the Friars basketball team from achieving success on a national level. The Friars are currently members of the Big East Conference and they play their home games in the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Providence made its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1964 and made it to the Elite Eight the following year. It wasn’t long before Providence made it to their first Final Four in 1973 under head coach Dave Gavitt before losing to Memphis. After more than a decade and several unimpressive NCAA Tournament appearances, Providence returned to the Final Four in 1987. This time the Friars were lead by legendary coach Rick Pitino and their top scorer, Billy Donovan, who would go on to coach the Florida Gators to multiple championships in later years. The Friars were a #6 seed in the 1987 NCAA Tournament and upset the #2 seed Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sweet Sixteen and the #1 seed Georgetown Hoyas in the Elite Eight to reach the Final Four. In the Final Four, Providence lost to the #2 seed Syracuse Orangemen by a score of 77-63.
Providence Friars Recent NCAA Tourament History
Providence’s most recent NCAA Tournament came in 2014. The Friars received an automatic NCAA Tournament berth by upsetting the #14 Creighton Bluejays by a score of 68-58 in the Big East Tournament championship game. Providence was a #11 seed in the East Region and played the #6 seed North Carolina Tar Heels in their first game. Despite a dominant performance from Byron Cotton who scored 36 points, the Friars ultimately lost to the Tar Heels by a score of 79-77.