The Bracketology Report: Providence

Originally Published: January 6, 2004
By By Tom Durso | Insider Bracketologist

Editor's note: Each week Bracketology Insider will take an in-depth look at teams headed for the NCAA Tournament ... or not.

Week in review
Barely ranked despite a sparkling pre-conference slate, Providence (No. 2 RPI, No. 11 SOS to start the week) fumbled its chance to impress the voters on Monday, mere hours after cracking the AP poll for the first time in three years. After erasing a 21-point deficit against Texas (No. 97 RPI, No. 238 SOS), the Friars fell 79-77 on a disputed shot in overtime.

Donnie McGrath's trey tied the game with less than 4 seconds left in OT, but the Longhorns' P.J. Tucker sank a buzzer-beater from the lane that game officials reviewed for several minutes before declaring good. The Friars' first home loss of the season was marked by balanced scoring and a 28-point, 7-rebound effort out of Ryan Gomes, but it was marred by 24 turnovers.

At Virginia (No. 31 RPI, No. 64 SOS) last Saturday, Gomes had 27 points and 11 rebounds to power Providence past the Cavaliers, 84-69. The Providence zone held Virginia to 37.1 percent shooting from the floor, while the Friars shot an impressive 58.2 percent at their end and nailed 9 3-pointers.

Coming up
Over the next week, Providence begins Big East play by visiting New Jersey for games against two teams that have performed very well against their own non-conference schedules.

First up is Rutgers (No. 21 RPI, No. 12 SOS) on Saturday, followed by Seton Hall (No. 19 RPI, No. 49 SOS) next Monday. The Friars will have to wait five days before purging the heartbreaking Texas loss from their systems. A win over the Scarlet Knights would set up an intriguing early-season matchup with the Pirates, one that could have significant conference implications in a couple of months.

Both contests are also key RPI games at this point.

"Planting Seeds"
The Friars are No. 18 this week on The Bracketology Report national seeding chart. That makes Providence a No. 5 seed, as well as the third Big East team in the projected NCAA field.

PC's solid early-season schedule should do much to hone the team for the typically bruising Big East slate. That the Friars have won most of their games during an especially tough stretch of the season bodes well for their future seeding possibilities.

Games of the Week
Providence fans should root FOR and AGAINST the teams in ALL CAPS.
For ALABAMA @ Louisiana St. (Sat.)
Xavier @ RHODE ISLAND (Sun.)
Against CONNECTICUT @ Rutgers (Tues.)
Virginia Tech @ PITT (Tues.)

Inside the Numbers
Additional considerations for the NCAA Selection Committee include:
"Good" wins
(vs. RPI 1-25) Alabama
(vs. RPI 26-50) Illinois, @Richmond, @Virginia
(vs. RPI 51-100) None
"Bad" losses
(vs. RPI 101-200) NONE
(vs. RPI sub-200) NONE
Record vs. projected field (2-1)
Win: FloAlabama, Illinois (N)
Loss: Texas
Record vs. at-large pool (n/a)
Win: does not yet apply
Loss: does not yet apply
Reason(s) to SEED Providence
  • No. 11 SOS
  • 4-2 vs. RPI Top 50
  • Reason(s) to DROP Providence
  • none to date
  • Season breakdown (8-2, 0-0)
    All RPI data through Monday, Jan. 5

    Date     Opponent        Result        Opp.RPI     Opp.SOS
    11/22    Hofstra         69-56          148          62
    11/29    Alabama         76-71          11           4

    12/2 South Florida 84-60 113 112 12/6 @Rhode Island 79-89 (L) 22 57 12/9 N-Illinois 70-51 29 87 12/21 Central Conn. 72-67 146 85 12/23 @Richmond 57-56 39 8 12/28 Siena 73-66 204 69

    1/3 @Virginia 84-69 31 64 1/5 Texas 77-79 (L,OT) 97 238 1/10 @Rutgers 21 12 1/12 @Seton Hall 19 49 1/17 West Virginia 71 141 1/19 Loyola-Chicago 138 143 1/21 Villanova 52 147 1/24 @Connecticut 41 156 1/26 Georgetown 85 318

    2/1 Seton Hall 19 49 2/4 @Virginia Tech 152 227 2/7 Syracuse 38 159 2/11 @Villanova 52 147 2/14 @Boston College 13 37 2/21 Miami 153 305 2/24 @Notre Dame 168 273 2/29 @St. John's 125 34

    3/2 Pittsburgh 32 183 3/6 Boston College 13 37 3/10 BIG EAST TOURNAMENT

    Joe Lunardi's forecast (Jan. 6)
    Chance of NCAA top seed: 5 percent
    Chance of NCAA "protected" (1-4) seed: 15 percent
    Chance of NCAA bid: 65 percent
    Chance of NCAA at-large bid: 60 percent
    Chance of NIT bid: 30 percent
    Chance of missing post-season: 5 percent