NEW YORK â€” At this point of the season, Kadeem Batts and the rest of his teammates are dealing with information overload when the discussion turns to the Friars and their NCAA Tournament prospects.
Like every other Providence College basketball follower, Batts is keeping abreast of the latest developments via watching games on TV, checking out bracket-bubble updates online and hearing all sorts of prognostications on where the Friars stand in their quest for the programâ€™s first NCAA berth since 2004.
WOONSOCKET – The storied hockey rivalry between Division I powerhouses Mount St. Charles and Hendricken will continue this weekend at Brown University in the form of the R.I. Championship Division Tournament final.
But if this best-of-three set, slated to begin at 7 p.m., Friday at Meehan Auditorium, follows the same pattern as the regular-season tilts between the two, the Mounties could be in for a short appearance.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Late Saturday night, after his defending state championship team had swept North Smithfield in a Division II Tournament quarterfinal set, Lincoln High head coach Jim Riel indicated his semifinal opponent would be North Kingstown.
Minutes afterward, when reached by phone, Cumberland mentor Mark Andreozzi â€“ whose club had just crushed Middletown, 8-2, to gain another brooming â€“ thought his next foe to be St. Raphael/PCD/Wheeler Co-op, which had captured two straight against 2012-13 D-II finalist Prout.
PROVIDENCE â€“ The trust factor between the Providence College basketball players and the training staff is quite evident.
In separate interviews, Bryce Cotton and LaDontae Henton didnâ€™t refer to athletic trainer Bryn VanPatten by his first name or his last. Truncated in such a fashion that you can just feel the cool factor, VanPatten simply goes by â€śVP.â€ť
WOONSOCKET â€“ Mount St. Charles had captured the previous three league contests against La Salle Academy, though the last one was a mere 3-2 triumph back on Feb. 22.
The Mounties hadnâ€™t lost to the Rams during the regular season, and with standout senior keeper Tyler Walsh out of action entering this best-of-three R.I. Championship Division Tournament semifinal set â€“ he had sustained a concussion during a game against Cranston Co-op last week â€“ there was little reason to believe they would suffer its first.
For Mount St. Charles and Burrillville, only two victories separate them from a return trip to Brown Universityâ€™s Meehan Auditorium and a chance to claim championship glory.
For Cumberland, Lincoln, North Smithfield, and the St. Raphael/Providence Country Day/Wheeler co-op team, itâ€™s going to take twice as many wins for a cherished spot in the Division II finals.
For these six teams, the march to Brown begins tonight as the puck drops on the state playoffs in the form of best-of-three series around the state.
JOHNSTON â€” Burrillville High head coach Kevin Randall seemed cautiously confident before his squad took on league-unbeaten East Greenwich in a R.I. Division III Tournament quarterfinal on Wednesday night.
â€śWe played them earlier this season, and we were down six at the half, but then our big man (junior Isaiah DeSilva) got in foul trouble,â€ť he stated as the players warmed up. â€śWe've got to keep Isaiah on the floor, because he's going to have to cover a house (in EG senior center Brandon) Eckles.â€ť
The next wave of games as part of Rhode Islandâ€™s version of â€śMarch Madnessâ€ť are set for Wednesday night with boysâ€™ basketball quarterfinal-round contests in all three divisions taking place at neutral sites around the state.
Two area squads are heading to the same venue as Division II participants Tolman and Central Falls will bus to Coventry High School. The third-seeded Tigers will take the floor first for a 5:30 p.m. matchup against fellow II-Central member and sixth-seeded Exeter/West Greenwich. At roughly 7:30, the seventh-seeded Warriors face No. 2 Barrington.
LINCOLN â€” After the warm-up session, and minutes before a huge Division III-North clash against league-leading North Smithfield High, Davies Tech head coach Joe Handy led his troops outside a door to Gaskin Alumni Hall on Tuesday evening.
There, he looked rather animated, trying to explain to his Patriots how critical it would be to play with fire in their hearts. After all, a postseason berth was at stake.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Call it the definition of a Friar full circle.
The Providence College menâ€™s basketball contest that took place March 2, 2004 isnâ€™t referenced in the sections of the media guide devoted to noteworthy dates and games in program history, and with good reason: On that night, nothing went right. Pittsburgh waltzed into the Dunkinâ€™ Donuts Center and laid a major hurt on the Ryan Gomes-led and Tim Welsh-coached Friars, rolling to a stunningly easy 88-61 victory.
â€śI remember,â€ť said PC Athletic Director Bob Driscoll when reached Monday.