PROVIDENCE, R.I. -(WPRI) — For the first time since 1997, the P.C. Friars are headed to the Sweet 16 round in the NCAA Tournament.

On Saturday, hundreds of fans gathered outside of the Marriott in Buffalo cheering the team on as they headed to the KeyBank Center, before taking care of business by beating the Richmond Spiders 79-51.

“I just can’t tell you how grateful I feel for our players, our college, our city. It’s hard to get to this point,” Head Coach Ed Cooley said in a post game press conference.

“You know, we’re just a little school where everybody says ‘Uh, it’s just Providence’. Well Providence is in the damn building.”

Back home in Rhode Island, fans packed local bars and restaurants, routing on their home team.

A celebratory welcome home event was held on the Providence College campus on Sunday afternoon, in front of the Concannon Fitness Center.

“I cant express myself on it, I’m so happy like I’m in basketball heaven. I died and went to basketball heaven,” Frank Cataldi said.

Coach Cooley addressed the screaming crowd as the team got off the bus.

“I appreciate you guys, it’s been a fantastic year.” Cooley said. I appreciate you guys, we love Friartown. Thank you guys.”

The Friars will next play the Kansas Jayhawks at the United Center in Chicago on Friday, March 25.

12 Sports Director Morey Hershgordon will be in Chicago later this week for the Sweet 16.

PC Hoops with Coach Cooley

🏀 10:30 p.m. Sundays on FOX Providence
🏀 In-Depth PC Friars Coverage
🏀 1-on-1 with Coach Ed Cooley
🏀 “Be Them Dudes” Play of the Week

Latest PC Friars Headlines »