Let's get right into it. Providence is lucky. It's something that is said over and over and over again. Why? Because they keep finding a way to win these close games in weird fashion. But you know what? That's what matter. Winning games matters. The luck factor? It's fine to talk about. It's why I have some concern about this team in the Tournament. How many times can they keep hitting late shots? How many times can they find a way to win and not have the loss by 18 or 30 like we've seen this year? But that's a March question. Plus, for the most part, teams who win in March tend to have some luck. We can run through a bunch in history:
- Virginia has the ridiculous buzzer beater against Purdue and then the Final Four game against Auburn
- UConn in 2014 needed a ridiculous comeback and finish in the first round to advance
- UNC in 2017 had the Luke Maye shot before he didn't score a single point in the Final Four
- Nova in 2016 won on a buzzer beater
The list goes on and on and those are just title teams we're talking about. Hell, look at UCLA last year. They had a comeback against Michigan State, a bunch of close games before having it all flipped on the Suggs shot. It happens. It's just rare to see what Providence is doing for an entire year, but that's the story. Providence is finding ways to win. They are a game away from winning the Big East. That's what matters.
It's also fair to look at their resume and understand why they feel capped at a 3 seed. We saw how the committee valued them at the reveal last Saturday. They were one of the last 4 seeds. There's just a ton of teams to jump which seems unlikely with 2-3 games left in the regular season. They don't control their own seed destiny. The committee uses metrics because metrics matter too. All these things can be true and we're part of watching a truly ridiculous season for all the right seasons. The Dunk is packed every game. They are even drawing celebrities.
But you know why Providence is 23-3? Jared Bynum is one of the most improved players in the country, let alone just the Big East. Justin Minaya is one of the best defenders in the country. Nate Watson is a steady big. They all know their roles and bought into it. That's a large reason why they are winning close games. Speaking of which that game last night was unbelievable. It included:
- A roof leak, leading to a 20 minute delay
- An intentional foul by accident
- A buzzer beater
- The monitor stopped working and froze
- Three overtimes and a game that lasted over 3 hours and 30 minutes
Then there's the way we talk about good season and good teams. If Providence loses in the second round it doesn't mean the season was a failure. If they make the Sweet 16 and lose there it feels 'right.' They are one of the 15ish best teams in the country. That's just a fact whether you like the eye test or results. It's fair to use everything to judge a team and that's how we should be talking about Providence.
Ask Ed Cooley if he cares. He doesn't. He cares about wins. Winning the Big East and getting a top-3/4 seed is what matters. From there it's one game and matchup based. Welcome to college basketball.
Watch the full show here and see four madmen break it all down at 2:30 in the morning. I was truly taken away by Jake's idea of a coin toss. So insane I think I love it.