Friars-Trojans in March Madness Marquee Matchup

Providence College (23-10) v USC (21-12)

March 17, 2016 @ 9:50 PM ET
PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

The best game of the opening day of March Madness may be the second ever meeting between #9 seed Providence College and #8 University of Southern California.Both teams are trying to regain their prior form and the Friars are seeking to end a 19-year NCAA drought.

Expectations for Providence College ran high after the Friars came from 11-down on the road to beat #9 Butler.  The win gave them a 13-1 record and bumped them up to #8 in the rankings.  They have gone 10-9 since then, including a 2-6 slump.

The #9 Friars are slight favorites over the #8 seed Trojans who also had a late-season swoon going 3-7 in their last 10 games.

Former Florida Gulf Coast coach Andy Enfield has brought “Dunk City” to USC with a high -powered running offense that averages 80.8 points per game.  USC’s 8.5 game improvement from 2015 is the best of any major program and they have notched some significant wins against Monmouth (101-90), Wichita State (72-69) and Arizona (103-101 4OT).  Most importantly, they beat UCLA three-times for the first time in 74 years.

Providence has also notched major victories over Villanova (82-76 OT) and Arizona (69-65).

The Bleacher Report calls Providence “the most dangerous No. 9 seed in the dance,” due to the combo of Big East Player of the Year Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil.  Dunn finished second in the Big East with 6.4 assists per game, first with 2.5 steals and seventh with 16 points per game, while Bentil led the conference with 21.2 points per game and finished fourth in rebounding with 7.8 a game.

If the Friars win, they face the winner of the North Carolina-Florida Gulf Coast winner.

This is a potent combination, and it’s not a given that they can be stopped. It’ll take a concerted effort from anyone, Tar Heels included, to stifle the Providence attack.

 Providence

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 USC

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 Record 23-10 21-12
RPI 40 51
vs Ranked Teams 4-5 2-4
vs. NCAA Teams 5-7 5-8
NCAA Appearances

 17

16

Record

 14-18

11-19

Last NCAA Appearance

 2015

Lost to Dayton in first round, 66-53

2009

Lost to Michigan State in second round, 74-69

Last NCAA Win 1997

Beat Chatanooga 71-65 in Regional Semifinals

2009

Beat Boston College 72-55 in First Round

Sweet Sixteen 1965, 1973, 1974,
1987, 1997
1954, 1961, 2001, 2007
 Elite 8  1965, 1973, 1987, 1997 1940, 1954, 2001
Final Four  1973, 1987 1940, 1954
Points Per Game 74.0 80.8
Points Allowed 69..7 74.8

 


 

Prior Meeting

Providence 70, #7 USC 66

January 26, 1972 / Los Angeles Sports Arena

In a nationally-televised matchup, the unranked Friars went to the West coast to play seventh-ranked USC (led by Paul Westphal).  The Friars led for all except three minutes or so in their 70-66 triumph.  Ernie DiGregorio (27 Points) outgunned Paul Westphal and Marvin Barnes  (21 Points, 17 Rebounds) dominated Trojan center Ron Riley.


 

Providence College Friars

Player # Class Pos Height Weight Summary
Ben Bentil 0 SO F 6-8 230 21.2 Pts, 7.8 Reb, 1.1 Ast
Rodney Bullock 5 SO F 6-7 220 11.6 Pts, 6.8 Reb, 1.0 Ast
Kyron Cartwright 24 SO G 5-11 185 5.7 Pts, 2.2 Reb, 4.0 Ast
Tyree Chambers 14 SO G 6-2 182 0.0 Pts, 0.3 Reb, 0.4 Ast
Ricky Council II 22 FR G 6-5 200 1.1 Pts, 0.5 Reb, 0.1 Ast
Kris Dunn 3 JR G 6-3 205 16.0 Pts, 5.5 Reb, 6.4 Ast
Drew Edwards 25 FR G 6-3 185 2.4 Pts, 1.6 Reb, 0.6 Ast
Ryan Fazekas 35 FR G 6-8 205 5.3 Pts, 2.4 Reb, 0.3 Ast
Isaiah Jackson 44 SO G 6-6 212
Jalen Lindsey 21 SO G 6-7 195 7.3 Pts, 4.4 Reb, 0.7 Ast
Junior Lomomba 32 JR G 6-5 200 5.5 Pts, 2.6 Reb, 2.0 Ast
Tom Planek 34 SO F 6-6 195 0.5 Pts, 0.2 Reb, 0.1 Ast
Quadree Smith 10 FR F 6-8 285 1.8 Pts, 1.1 Reb, 0.1 Ast
Casey Woodring 12 JR G 6-2 180 0.0 Pts, 0.6 Reb, 0.0 Ast
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CBB: View Original Table
Generated 3/16/2016.

 

USC Trojans

Player # Class Pos Height Weight Summary ▾
Jordan McLaughlin 11 SO G 6-1 170 13.4 Pts, 3.7 Reb, 4.7 Ast
Nikola Jovanovic 32 JR F 6-11 230 12.1 Pts, 7.0 Reb, 0.4 Ast
Julian Jacobs 12 JR G 6-4 180 11.8 Pts, 4.9 Reb, 5.5 Ast
Bennie Boatwright 25 FR F 6-10 220 11.5 Pts, 5.3 Reb, 1.0 Ast
Katin Reinhardt 5 JR G 6-6 205 11.4 Pts, 2.8 Reb, 1.4 Ast
Elijah Stewart 30 SO G 6-5 180 9.8 Pts, 3.6 Reb, 1.1 Ast
Chimezie Metu 4 FR F 6-11 215 6.6 Pts, 3.7 Reb, 0.5 Ast
Darion Clark 0 JR F 6-7 220 2.6 Pts, 4.5 Reb, 0.3 Ast
Malik Marquetti 24 SO G 6-6 190 2.0 Pts, 1.0 Reb, 0.5 Ast
Malik Martin 2 SO F 6-11 220 1.8 Pts, 1.5 Reb, 0.2 Ast
Strahinja Gavrilovic 14 SR F 6-9 230 1.2 Pts, 0.2 Reb, 0.0 Ast
Samer Dhillon 13 JR F 6-7 200 0.3 Pts, 0.0 Reb, 0.0 Ast
Shaqquan Aaron 3 SO G 6-7 175
Kurt Karis 21 JR G 6-1 190
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CBB: View Original Table
Generated 3/16/2016.
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