Dec. 8, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama men’s basketball continues its series with Providence on Saturday, Dec. 11, when it travels to Rhode Island to face the Friars in the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
The Crimson Tide and the Friars will meet for the seventh time with the Tide having won four of the previous six meetings. Of those six meetings three have come on neutral floors with two being in the NCAA Tournament. UA has only visited Providence once, falling, 76-71, on Nov. 29, 2003. Last season UA claimed an 84-75 win at home on Nov. 20.
The first time the two programs met in the NCAA Tournament, PC ended the second-seeded Tide’s run in the Sweet 16 with a 103-82 decision at historic Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky., on March 19, 1987.
The No. 6 seed Friars shot a blistering 68.8 percent (33-of-48) from the field and 63.6 percent (14-of-22) from three-point range to outscore the Tide in both halves. Future Florida head coach and Anthony Grant mentor Billy Donovan led the Friars with 26 points and 10 assists in 30 minutes of action. The diminutive guard was nearly flawless in defeating the Tide, going 5-of-6 from three-point range and 9-of-10 from the line. His mate in the backcourt, Delray Brooks, connected on five of his eight three-point attempts.
The Tide had all five of its starters score in double-figures in that contest with Jim Farmer’s 24 points leading the way. Future NBA first-round draft pick Derrick McKey had 11 points and four rebounds.
In addition to last year’s win, the Tide has claimed victories over PC in 1975-76 at Madison Square Garden, 1993-94 in the NCAA Tournament and in 2002-03 in Coleman Coliseum.
The Friars will be the second BIG EAST opponent the Tide has faced this season and UA is 24-25 all-time against current members of the BIG EAST and 10-10 against the six active charter members of the league. Of those 20 meetings, 13 have come on neutral floors as the Tide has played just three games on a charter member’s court (Providence, St. John’s and Syracuse).