Providence College Friars Off To Sweet 16

Richmond v Providence

Photo: Getty Images

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WBZNewsRadio) - The Providence College men's basketball program hasn't been to a Sweet 16 game since 1997.

Hundreds of fans cheered on the Friars Wednesday afternoon, before taking off for Chicago and the Sweet 16. Head coach Ed Cooley addressed members of the media about their game against Kansas on the sidewalk outside the Ruane Friar Development Center.

“We’ll be ready, you know, we had some great preparation practices, now we just got to get out there, you know, we got to get out there. But, a sendoff like this is what college athletics is all about,” Cooley said.

The New England Patriots are doing their part to support the New England team, by helping to send some of the Friars' biggest supports to the United Center on the Patriots' AirKraft 2.

"New England teams helping New England teams. I just want to personally thank you and the Patriots organization for allowing our family, our supporters, our donors, and many of those who have the opportunity to ride on that wonderful plane, getting them to Chicago in the Windy City," said Cooley in a video message to thank Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

"This would not be possible without your support, so I personally, on behalf of Providence College Basketball, and Providence College Athletics, want to send a sincere thank you to you and your organization. Thanks a lot. I'm a huge Patriots fan. Go Pats! Go Friars!"

WBZ's Jim MacKay was on Campus ahead of the game and spoke to fans young and old about Friday night's celebration.

"The last time they were in the Sweet 16 was my Dad's senior year." Sean told WBZ's Jim Mackay. In fact many of the players taking the court in tonight's game weren't alive the last time the team went to a Sweet 16 game. But in the end, senior citizens or seniors in college, they're all Friars.

Tip-off for Providence vs. Kansas is 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

WBZ's Jim MacKay (@JimMacKayOnAir) reports

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