WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — There will be plenty of Friar fanatics cheering on Providence College in their NCAA Tournament game Friday night, thanks in part to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

Fans boarded one of the Patriots’ team planes Thursday morning at T.F. Green Airport to make their way to Chicago to catch the team in action.

For the first time since 1997, the Friars made it to the Sweet 16 where they will play the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks.

SLIDESHOW: PC Friars in Chicago (story continues below)

Fans told 12 News they feel good about the team’s chances.

“It’s sleepless nights because we are so excited,” PC’s Dean of Students Steve Sears said. “The energy at PC has been remarkable, our Friars are thrilled right now, and our students are beyond excited. This is just a remarkable time for all of us, I mean, the spirit that we have right now, it’s unstoppable.”

Hundreds of fans gathered on campus Wednesday to send the team off in style.

The team held its first practice Thursday morning, and head coach Ed Cooley said it felt “amazing” to be in the United Center.

Tip-off for Friday’s game set for 7:15 p.m. on TBS.

12 Sports Director Morey Hershgordon will have live reports from Chicago starting at 4 p.m. He will be with the Friars every step of the way, so be sure to stay with us for updates on aironline, and on social media.

Plus – don’t miss our one-on-one with Coach Cooley at 10:30 p.m. Sunday on FOX Providence, followed by Bracket Breakdown at 11:30 on WPRI 12.

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