A pair of Big Ten opponents have been confirmed for Providence and the University of Rhode Island on their respective 2023-24 men’s basketball schedules.
The Friars will host Wisconsin as part of the Gavitt Games while the Rams will square off with Northwestern in the opening round of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off at Mohegan Sun.
It will be a rematch of sorts for Providence and the Badgers on Tuesday, Nov. 14. They met as part of this event in the 2021-22 season, and the Friars grinded out a 63-58 victory in Madison. The strength of that win and several others in both the nonconference and Big East portions of the schedule helped lift Providence to a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
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The Friars have split a pair of home games and are 2-3 overall in this two-league agreement, which is named after former Providence coach Dave Gavitt. A home victory against Illinois in 2015 marked the inaugural edition. The Friars are 4-1 all-time against Wisconsin, including a 58-57 thriller in the last meeting downtown in 1995.
URI and the Wildcats are opposite Mississippi State and Washington State in the bracket, which is to begin play on Saturday, Nov. 18. The winners and losers of each game will meet the following day at the same venue. The Rams downed Cincinnati and lost to Duke in the 2016 version of the event, helping to secure the first of two NCAA Tournament bids under Dan Hurley.
URI has postseason history with Northwestern. The Rams took care of the Wildcats, 76-64, as part of an extended run in the 2010 NIT. URI eventually reached the semifinals at Madison Square Garden and carries a 2-0 record all-time against Northwestern.
Providence’s dates outside the league in its debut campaign under Kim English now include home tips with the Badgers, Rams and Brown. The Friars also visit Oklahoma as part of the Big East-Big 12 Battle and will play a pair of games at the Baha Mar Bahamas Hoop Championship. Providence is grouped with Miami, Kansas State and Georgia as part of a trip over the weekend of Nov. 17-19.
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Wisconsin captured two of the last three Big Ten titles before missing out of March Madness last season. The Badgers reached the semifinals of the NIT under Greg Gard, who will be entering his ninth season. Wisconsin has won at least 20 games in four of the last five years and reached the Sweet 16 twice since 2015-16.
URI played its last four games in Uncasville without fans and in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions. That was in Bubbleville at the outset of the 2020-21 season. The Rams dropped matchups with Arizona State and Boston College before notching victories against South Florida and San Francisco.
URI’s last meeting with a Big Ten opponent occurred in that same season. The Rams lost a guarantee road game against the Badgers, 73-62, as part of a 10-15 finish. URI also has a home game with the Bears and a road game with the Friars confirmed for Archie Miller’s second season in Kingston.
On Twitter: @BillKoch25