NCAA Basketball: Impact of Providence vs. Rhode Island cancellation

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The annual NCAA Basketball rivalry game between the University of Rhode Island and Providence College will not be played this season due to schedule conflicts between the schools.

Even in a shortened NCAA basketball season, there will be changes made to each school’s schedule. One of the biggest changes to the 2020-21 upcoming college basketball season came Monday, when both the University of Rhode Island and Providence College announced the cancellation of their biggest game. The Friars and Rams will not meet because of scheduling conflicts centered around the COVID-19 pandemic.

The battle for the Ocean State rivalry dates all the way back to December 7th, 1920 and has been played 132 times in history. Providence College does lead the series 74-58, though the rivalry intensifies every single year.

The two schools could not find a suitable scheduling date, according to both schools. This year, the game was scheduled to be played at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence. The rivalry will resume in 2021 at ‘The Dunk.’

“It is obviously disappointing to not be able to play the game, given its significance to both programs,”  University of Rhode Island Athletic Director Thorr Bjorn said. “We explored all possibilities of making it work, but the lack of schedule flexibility and challenges created by the pandemic prevented it. We look forward to resuming the rivalry in 2021.”

The last time these two teams met, URI beat PC last season at the Ryan Center 75-61, although PC still leads the series.

There was a lot of hype behind this game this season. The Rams and head coach David Cox have an essentially new team along with returning star Fatts Russell. Fatts is heading into his senior campaign and is due for another dominating season in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Friars are also looking good in the Big East Conference, with their star guard duo of David Duke and Luwane Pipkins. Friar head coach Ed Cooley would’ve been a part of his ninth in-state rivalry this year.

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Although many Rhode Islanders and fans will not be happy, they can look forward to another exciting matchup in 2021 of one of the oldest rivalries in NCAA Basketball.





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