Rhode Island Collegiate Basketball
2019 has been a rough year for College Basketball in Rhode Island. Many Rhode Islanders root for the URI Rams, PC Friars, or both. Nearing the end of February and the start of March, fans have been upset with the performance of these teams. Both teams are out of the top five in their own conference. Getting closer to, “Selection Day,” for the March Madness tournament, the teams have a low chance of making the bracket. However, they still have a chance with their own conference tournaments coming up. These brackets from each conference gives every team a chance to make March Madness. Each conference tournament winner gets an automatic bid into the tournament, giving both Rhode Island teams a chance to make the bracket.
The URI Rams, part of the Atlantic 10 Conference, are having a tough year with a below five-hundred record heading into March. Heading into March, they have a 7-9 record in conference games, which is ninth in the Atlantic 10. URI does not have any top twenty five wins, and has been blown out by double digits seven times this year. Although they have been defeated fourteen times total this year so far, they had a big win over VCU, the top team in the Atlantic 10, so they have the potential to beat any team in the conference. So far this year, their only hope to make March Madness is to win the Atlantic 10 tournament. To do this they will have to beat good teams like VCU, Dayton, and Davidson. They proved they can do this with their recent win over Dayton.
The Rams rival, PC Friars, have also had some struggles so far this year. Heading to March after a good win over Butler, they had a 6-10 record in their conference and a 16-13 record overall. This has been a disappointment for the fans, as the Friars are ninth in their conference. PC has no top twenty five wins and has been beaten by two top ten teams this season. The year has been tough for the team, but their star guard Alpha Diallo is averaging career highs in points with sixteen a game. This year he has had eight rebounds a game, and three assists per game, which are also career highs. Although PC has a better record than URI, they also have a low chance of making March Madness, unless they win their conference. This will be harder to do than URI because the Big East has two teams who have been ranked this season: Marquette, a top ten team, and Villanova, a team that has struggled, but are still very competitive.
The rivalry of URI and PC continued this year when PC defeated URI by nine points on December 1st. URI will face Saint Joseph’s and UMASS in their last two games as they try to rise in the standings in their conference. PC with only two games remaining, will face Creighton and Butler in hopes of rising in their conference standings to give them leverage for their tournament. The race for March Madness continues as the rivals fight to win more games going into their conference tournament, in hopes to hear their name called on Selection Day on March seventeenth.