Growing excitement for Rhode Island basketball in the NCAA tournament

I made it. After 10 long hours in a minivan, I have made it to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to follow the University of Rhode Island men’s basketball team on their road to San Antonio.

The Rams are not just playing in their second consecutive NCAA tournament but, with a win in today’s game against the Oklahoma Sooners, URI will have back-to-back seasons with wins in the NCAA tournament for the first time ever. That’s something to tell your kids about.

There is so much to be excited about come March Madness. Upsets, buzzer-beaters, Cinderella stories, etc. What can Rhode Island fans look forward to about this first round matchup? Not only that, but what about this first weekend in Pittsburgh can Ram fans be excited for? Let’s break it down.

The talent here in Pittsburgh is the best out of any location

Trae Young, Marvin Bagley, Collin Sexton amongst other huge names in college basketball are on display this weekend in the Steel City. Rhode Island is going to have a first round showdown with the NCAA leader in points and assists in Trae Young and his Sooners with the potential of playing college hoops royalty in Marvin Bagley, Coach K and the Duke University Blue Devils. This is awesome. One place with the best talent in college hoops and Rhode Island is right at the center of it all. The senior-heavy URI squad have experience and will put their talent to the test against the nation’s finest.

Rhode Island’s historic season continues to roll on

An Atlantic 10 Conference tournament title would have been a nice touch to cap off an incredible season for Dan Hurley and his Rams. But, the program’s first at-large bid to the NCAA’s in 20 years could not have come at a better time. URI has not advanced out of the second round of the NCAA’s since 1998’s Elite Eight run. What better way to move on from the A-10 title game than to get to a Sweet 16? The opportunity is their for the Rams. The road is tough but it’s exciting to know that the chance is there. The culture has completely swung for Rhode Island. In the last four seasons URI has won 90 games. That’s only happened in one other four-year period in program history. Expectations are high. Little Rhody could be busting some brackets.

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PPG Paints Arena and the Rhode Island Rams

Last season, URI took home their first A-10 crown in nearly two decades. It happened right inside the arena the Rams play in today, PPG Paints Arena. Returning to Pittsburgh is welcoming for the Rams who practiced in the gym of fellow A-10 school Duquesne earlier this week. There is familiarity in this city. From a trip here each year to play the Dukes to last year’s A-10 tournament run, the Rams have invaded Pittsburgh and will have a fanbase there to support them. Rhode Island had three clutch victories at PPG Paints Arena last year. How does two more wins this year sound?

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This is going to be fun. Rhode Island vs. Oklahoma opens up NCAA tournament round of 64 play today at 12:15 p.m. There is plenty to be excited about, Rhode Island.

eye on the alamo