Justin Minaya and the Friars rallied from 19 down at Butler
The results are in and the Providence Friars have dropped to No. 11 in the AP Top 25.
The Friars enjoyed a wildly entertaining 1-1 week and fell from a season-high of No. 8 in the polls. First, the Friars hung tough but could not overcome Collin Gillespie and Villanova at the Dunk in an 89-84 thriller. Then they went to Hinkle Fieldhouse and fell behind by 19 points early in the second half. A stirring comeback ensued, overtime was forced and the Friars survived, 71-70.
The Friars were ultimately jumped in this week’s poll by Duke (9th to 7th), Villanova (10th to 8th) and Texas Tech (11th to 9th). The Blue Devils were 2-0 with a 76-74 win over Wake Forest; Villanova won at PC and over Georgetown; and the Red Raiders beat No. 7 Baylor and No. 20 Texas.
Several ranked teams lost last week, including Providence. Auburn (2nd), Kentucky (4th), Baylor (7th), Illinois (12th) and Tennessee (16th) are among that group. But PC’s loss was hardly a bad one. Villanova came into that game ranked No. 10 and moved up to No. 8 this week.
Of course while exact rankings matter little, the Friars were hoping to remain in the top 10 for successive weeks for the first time in 48 seasons. The last time that occurred was the 1974 campaign when seniors Marvin Barnes and Kevin Stacom had PC in the Top 10 for 13 weeks.
The only measurement that counts, of course, is the seedings done by the NCAA on Selection Sunday. The Division I Men’s Basketball Committee unveiled its top 16 teams as of Saturday morning and the Friars were pegged as 15th out of 16. Here were the brackets, which would have some minor changes to be sure after games of Saturday and Sunday:
WEST REGION (SAN FRANCISCO)
MIDWEST REGION (CHICAGO)
10. Texas Tech
SOUTH REGION (SAN ANTONIO)
EAST REGION (PHILADELPHIA)