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In a season full of shocking upsets before March Madness, the Providence College Friars absolutely stunned the No. 1 ranked University of Pittsburgh Panthers in a Big East showdown for their first win against a top-ranked team since 1976.
The Panthers recently took down No. 1 ranked University of Connecticut, but failed to show up in Providence Tuesday night. The Friars led by 18 points at the half, and held on for an 81-73 win. Guard Weyinmi Efejuku led a balanced attack with 16 points, while guard Sharaud Curry added 15 points in the shocking win.
DeJuan Blair led the Panthers with 17 points and eight rebounds, but fouled out in the game’s final minute as Pitt was desperately trying to make a run.
Pitt will almost certainly lose their No. 1 ranking, and more important it opens the door for Providence to receive an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament (if they don’t win the Big East tourney).
“We’re in a pretty good situation: we’re in the top half of the best conference in the country,” Providence coach Keno Davis said. “It puts us in the conversation. I’m sure if we had lost, they wouldn’t be talking about us anymore.”
Reaction: I am SO excited for the NCAA tournament. With all these upsets during the regular season, no team is a safe bet for the Final Four. It may kill my bracket and yours too, but it should be really fun to watch it all unfold.