big east conference

  It’s official. Kris Dunn is returning to Providence College for the 2015-16 basketball season

“I am excited about next season," Dunn said in a statement released by the school Friday afternoon.

A potential lottery pick or probable first-round choice in the 2015 NBA draft as a result of his stellar play last season, Dunn had denied a Yahoo! Sports report, citing NBA sources, that he was skipping the draft. The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Sunday, and Dunn and PC finally confirmed the report.

The Providence College Friars beat Creighton 65-53 in the start of Big East Conference play Wednesday. The men's overall record is now 11-3.

PC says this is the first time the Friars have won their conference season-opener since 2008.

Senior forward LaDontae Henton led the Friars with 35 points and 8 rebounds.

The game at the Dunkin Donuts Center was a re-match of last season's Big East championship, when PC beat Creighton 65-58. The win marked the Friars' first victory in the Big East in 20 years.

Upsets this time of year have become the norm for the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament. The hoop experts fall over each other to predict which underdog teams will knock off the favorites.

This year, a trendy pick has become the Providence College team which faces the University of North Carolina tomorrow evening in San Antonio. UNC is seeded at 6 and plays in the very tough Atlantic Coast Conference. PC is an 11 seed.

The Providence College basketball team hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament in 10 years. The University of North Carolina hoop team has won two national championships in that decade.

PC coach Ed Cooley has never been to the NCAA’s as a head coach. Roy Williams, the coach of UNC, will be coaching his 84th NCAA post-season game. Williams, who coached perennial national power Kansas before moving to UNC, has been to 24 NCAA tourneys as a head coach. His NCAA record is 62-21.

Since the 1950s, Providence College basketball has been one of the great story lines in all of college sports, a New England version of the cinematic Hoosiers.

This tale flat-lined for too many years. But make no mistake: the Friars are back to the future, playing a marquee game tonight at Madison Square Garden, where the PC hoop legend really began all those years ago, in the early 1960s, with the National Invitational Tournament, when that post-season playoff at the Garden overshadowed the NCAA’s tournament.

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