PITTSBURGH (WPRI) — The University of Rhode Island Rams are gearing up to continue their NCAA Tournament run in the second round against the Duke University Blue Devils Saturday.
No. 2 seed Duke is coming off a win over Iona, defeating the Gaels 89-67 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The No. 7 seed Rams prevailed over Oklahoma in overtime with a score of 83-78.
“Our guys are juiced up, excited. We don’t get the attention that a lot of the big power five programs do, so for us to get a stage like this it’s a game changer for our players,” Head Coach Dan Hurley said.
Early last season the two teams played each other at Mohegan sun with the Blue Devils winning by 10, though the Rams put up a fight. With the score so close in their last match up and more experience, the Rams believe they can beat Duke this time around.
“We respect them,” Senior E.C. Matthews said. “We respect any team we play even if it wasn’t Duke. Just us being competitors, Coach Hurley being who he is, we are just excited about that match up. We are feeling very confident if we stick to our game plan.”
MARCH HOOPS: Eyewitness Sports is following URI and PC every step of the way with live team coverage. Yianni Kourakis will have live reports from Pittsburgh where the Rams are playing in the NCAA Tournament and Ruthie Polinsky will be with the Friars in Charlotte.