Kris Dunn won Big East Player of the Year. Ben Bentil lead the Providence Friars in scoring. When a bucket was needed for Providence, it was Bullock, instead, who shined. After losing his defender, if you can call it that, Bullock received an inbound pass and put in a little bunny hop with 1.5 remaining to give the #9th seeded Friars a one point lead over the #8 University of Southern California Trojans, advancing the team to the second round and a date with #1 seeded North Carolina.
Dunn and Bentil combined for 35 points, while Bullock had 16/10 with two steals and blocks each to lead the Friars, who clinched their first Big Dance victory since 1997, where they lost to Arizona by four. The Friars will be a tougher matchup for the Tar Heels than USC would have.
As a UCLA fan, the Trojan loss is bittersweet. Anytime USC loses, a smile does come onto the face of UCLA fans everywhere, however, this time around, I actually went against everything and selected the Trojans to make it to the second round (yes, yes, I know this is technically the second round, but I don't count play-in games as the first).
And the Trojans had it, but gave it away. Missing free throws, losing Bullock in the fray. It's a wonder how they were able to stick with the Friars for as long as they did, if you just witnessed the final few minutes of the show. I mean, no reason the Trojans should have lost, they shot 54%, Providence shot 40%. They grabbed more rebounds.
They just couldn't hit from the line, going 7-13 from the line, and 1-4 in the final minute of play, missing the front end of a one-and-one twice in the final 27 seconds. Such play can not occur if you have goals of advancing in the Big Dance, they just can't. Andy Enfield finally made the Dance in SoCal, just needs his first win.