NEW YORK â As one Cincinnati make after another settled into the nets at Madison Square Garden Wednesday, the frustration level in Kadeem Batts seemed to rise by the minute.
The Bearcats, desperate for a win that would keep them in the NCAA Tournament mix, were playing loose and free.
On the flip side, Batts and his Providence College teammates were tight and resembled the unit that got off to a dreadful 2-7 start in Big East play â not the one that closed the regular season white-hot with seven wins in nine tries.
NEW YORK â For one final time, the Providence player with deep New York City roots trudged off the floor at Madison Square Garden with an empty feeling in his stomach.
Vincent Councilâs last chance at Big East Tournament glory resembled his previous three experiences at this hallowed cathedral â with the Friars serving as an all-too familiar one-and-done casualty. As a result, the senior point guard hailing from Brooklyn is left to ponder whether the glass is half-full or half-empty.
LINCOLN â Head coach Jim Riel claimed back in November he was thrilled that his Lincoln High icemen had been âdemotedâ from the state's top tier to Division II.
The reason: He felt the overall talent level would give his Lions a more equal chance to compete against most teams.
Turns out, Riel was right. He always knew his squad had a chance to earn a berth in the championship series, but to do so with an unbeaten D-II record? That he didn't expect.
NEW YORK â The hallways, runways and escalators inside Madison Square Garden come alive with Big East basketball-related chatter every March. Naturally, many folks will take the occasion at this weekâs conference tournament to reflect on the end of this wildly entertaining roundball ride.
Looking back at the recently completed boysâ basketball playoffs with an emphasis on what the young men and coaches from North Smithfield accomplished âŠ
Heartache and disappointment always seem to boil to the surface whenever extenuating circumstances arise. Yet as he paced around a somber locker room to console a hazed and dazed group of downtrodden teenage boys, North Smithfield head coach T.J. Ciolfi kept thinking about a bonding/healing session to be conducted on a yellow school bus.
PAWTUCKET â Minutes after Tolman High had finished its practice Monday afternoon at Lynch Arena, head coach Steve Reynolds and volunteer assistant Tom Vecoli followed their players to the locker room for a team meeting.
There, they discussed how they must approach their tune-up workouts before battling unbeaten and top-seeded West Warwick-Exeter/West Greenwich Co-op in the first game of their best-of-three R.I. Division III Tournament championship series; that's slated for noon Saturday at Brown Universityâs Meehan Auditorium.
PAWTUCKET â The instant the final horn sounded, the Tolman High players on the Lynch Arena ice and those on the bench raced to senior netminder Jared DaSilva to mob him, celebrate perhaps the most-craved win ever recorded in school hockey history.
Months after receiving word this would be the squad's last hoorah, due to a dwindling number of incoming freshmen and only a few underclassmen on the bandwagon, the senior-oriented Tigers wanted to end it all in style.
CRANSTON --- East Providence got the large ice surface it wanted as the host of the first game of its Division III best-of-three semifinal-round series with Tolman on Friday night.
The Townies got a bit of momentum from their âSenior Nightâ festivities that took place prior to the opener, and they also got to dress a full complement of players (20), while the Tigers were only able to suit up a dozen.
But in the end, Tolman got the only thing that mattered the most â a hard-fought triumph over the leagueâs defending champions.
PAWTUCKET â The Pawtucket Red Sox announced Friday that they have added Bob Socci to the radio broadcast booth for the upcoming season. Socci will partner with another newcomer, Jeff Levering who was hired last month, as the duo will broadcast all 144 PawSox games on WHJJ-AM (920) and the 13-station PawSox Radio Network.