College Basketball

Providence Stole an NCAA Tournament Bid, Probably From Minnesota or Xavier

bryce cotton providence

Bryce Cotton scored 23 points and Providence beat Creighton, 65-58, to capture the Big East Championship. The Friars, who were a bubble team needing a win to get into the NCAA Tournament, now have an automatic bid to next week’s tournament.

So who did they steal a spot from?

The updated RPI and SOS numbers won’t be available until the morning, but for now, the most likely candidates appear to be:

* Minnesota – RPI of 49, SOS of 5, but only two Top 50 RPI wins (both in mid-January, at home)
* Xavier – RPI of 46, SOS of 30, four Top 50 RPI wins, but lost 3-of-4 in the last two weeks

St. Joesph’s, which was our consensus last team in the tournament on Friday, plays for the Atlantic-10 Championship Sunday against VCU. The Hawks are in right now, but by the narrowest of margins over Minnesota and Xavier.

Providence’s victory wasn’t good for bubble teams like NC State (lost to Duke) and Florida State (lost to Virginia).

Related: NCAA Tournament Bubble: Saint Joseph’s Last Team in, Florida State, Providence Need Wins
Related: Jabari Parker Drove Through the North Carolina State Defense for a Powerful Jam
Related: Denzel Valentine Threw a Between-the-Legs Bounce Pass to Set Up a Michigan State Dunk

Because you want to see it first!

Like and follow The Big Lead today!