New England Colleges Set for Championship Week


The final college basketball Saturday is over, which means that Championship week is finally here, the official start of March Madness. How do the New England squads look going into the big week? Let’s break it down by team, and their outlook for their conference tournament.

Boston College:

Well, it shouldn’t take a basketball genius to figure out that Boston College won’t be a major factor in the ACC Tournament. The Eagles are set to open the ACC Tournament Tuesday March 10 against Georgia Tech. The Eagles have already beaten the Yellow Jackets on the road this year, and Olivier Hanlan made a name for himself as a freshman when he lit up the Yellow Jackets. Hanlan is a bona fide star too, drawing some a potential All-ACC team member. So, the Eagles still got more than a chance to steal one ACC Tournament game. But don’t expect the Eagles to fit into the golden slipper this year.

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Providence Friars:

The Friars dropped one against Butler Saturday in Providence to cement the Friars standing as the fourth seed in the Big East Tournament. And while they won the tournament from that position, don’t expect that same kind of run this year. Which, if the Friars win, they will be rewarded with a date against Villanova, another matchup nightmare for Providence. The Friars are matched up with St. John’s who has given the Friars fits this season. But the Friars are led by Kris Dunn, and Ladontae Henton, who form one of the best duos in the nation. Providence has beaten the best of the best too, sweeping Georgetown, and winning a neutral court contest against Notre Dame. Providence is a lock for the Big Dance, so they should be worth monitoring throughout March.

UConn Huskies:

The defending champions find themselves in an unusual position, outside the tournament field heading into the American Athletic Conference Tournament. UConn is in the middle of the pack, in what has turned out to be a very competitive conference. Not only that, but they just suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Temple in their season finale. The Huskies are led by Ryan Boatright, who is supremely talented, and one of the most dynamic guards in the country. But, don’t expect another Kemba Walker/Shabazz Napier run from Boatright and the Huskies.

UMass Minutemen/URI Rams:

Both teams are in the thick of things in an extremely deep Atlantic 10 Conference. The Minutemen and Rams each sat tied for first a mere couple of weeks ago. However, a dry stretch for both teams has led to a slight slip from first. And with that both teams have had their bubbles popped according to many bracketologists. But both teams should have a fighting shot in what should be a wild A-10 Tournament. Especially the Rams, with EC Matthews. Matthews is an extremely underrated player, and he could take over the A-10 Tournament, and climb the mountain with the Rams. Again though, it looks like anything short of a championship run could keep both teams out of the Dance.