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HartfordTycoon

Wow! URI vs Duke Basketball 82-79

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OK, as a UConn fan I hate Duke. So imagine my surprise when I saw the Rams taking it to them before half time yesterday. I immediately started rooting for the Rams and they almost pulled off the upset. Baron is phenominal. I wish we had him and his father who is the head coach seems to have a really good team on his hands. I hope you guys in RI start supporting your college athletics more. It could really be a driver for your state. That is where the national level excitement and notoriety can easily come from. My advice, let Boston's teams play second fiddle to URI and Providence this year for sports coverage in the state and see how it works out.

UConn does have to exact vengeance on those miserable Friars that defeated us last year. I'm looking forward to the match up though. You guys have 2 very solid basketball schools in the state. Use that to your advantage. The state needs to rally around them and you guys could even have a great in-state rivalry. I really think you guys need to make those 2 programs higher profile nationally somehow.

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I agree - I think basketball was bigger here when PC was in the Final Four or at least got somewhat deep in the tournament, and URI as well - I still remember the loss to Stanford that would've taken URI to the Final Four, Standford fouled them at the end and it wasn't called.

Hopefully the renovated DDC arena will help bring more people to PC games. URI has a pretty new arena as well, the Ryan Center. For some reason though I just don't hear these two teams talked up a lot around here. I think part of that is because everyone around here is a huge Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox fan - while in Connecticut, fans are too far away from the pro teams. It's a lot easier to go see a UCONN game....

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PC fired Tim Welsh and hired Keno Davis to re-vamp their basketball program. I have a feeling it'll work. There might be a bad season while they get settled in, but I imagine after that, they'll be doing better than in the past.

I'm a UConn graduate and work at PC, though I'm a Husky at heart. URI's team has been doing better lately and seems to be working its way to the national scene. PC is already on the national scene, but not really taken seriously. Hopefully, the new coach will make them a real contender. PC basketball is to Providence as UConn basketball is to Hartford. They're the "pro" teams for our respective states.

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It comes down to the way it's covered and marketed in the state. Projo and your local TV Stations have to really make URI and PC seem to be the biggest thing in town. They need to lead with these stories and make the players into local celebreties so that RI will care enough to follow the season. The pro New England teams need no assistance from the Providence based media community and shouldn't be getting as free of a ride as they get.

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It comes down to the way it's covered and marketed in the state. Projo and your local TV Stations have to really make URI and PC seem to be the biggest thing in town. They need to lead with these stories and make the players into local celebreties so that RI will care enough to follow the season. The pro New England teams need no assistance from the Providence based media community and shouldn't be getting as free of a ride as they get.

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PC gets plenty of coverage (I think the firing and hiring of the coaches was front page news). Honestly, since you're not here to see it, how can you really comment on how big PC and URI are here? Media coverage is just a small part of it. The bigger part is attendance. As I said, PC is treated as RI's "pro" team (just as UConn is treated as CT's "pro" team). The Celtics aren't as big here as PC and URI basketball. It's the Pats and Sox that get most of the coverage (though when the Celts do well, they get a lot of coverage, and rightfully so). UConn has been a national powerhouse for well over a decade. Because CT, especially Hartford, falls far enough between NY and Boston, the coverage of the pro teams, especially basketball and football, isn't as big. Down in Fairfield County, the rag known as the CT Post covers the NY teams quite a bit, often leaving UConn to the wayside. UConn also has the benefit of a big football program now (and it doesn't hurt that the state throws a ton of money at UConn sports).

Anyway, we have a dedicated TV channel here for most URI and PC (as well as Brown and high school) games. The first news story on the TV sports, unless the Sox or Pats did something big, is about the local colleges.

The one comment I will make, and this happened both while I was there and after I graduated, is that when the UConn players were made into local celebrities, they were soon arrested for various drug charges. Khalid el Amin was one of them while I was there and this happened after he helped win the national championship.

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That's not fair to say that because some got into trouble it's not good to give these guys some limelight. CT media has not played a minor role in getting the most players from any school currently in the NBA to the next level. As someone interested in all of New England I read the Projo online occassionally and just thought they could do a little more hyping of the programs. I also don't think it's accurate to say that the SW CT papers don't cover UConn as much. They may not be as gung ho as the Courant about it, but it's still the biggest sports news there as well. I didn't know URI was any good, so really I was just surprised about what saw yesterday. I think that on the state level there are things that your elected leaders and media folks can do to push these programs to a higher echelon. I don't know how big PC and URI are in the state. I know that neither are known or respected as much as they could be in CT and feel that RI could do something about that for starters.

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So I'm completely biased here, but Bryant's team is making progress as the whole school is moving up to D1.

Though UConn did beat Bryant pretty bad this weekend. :(

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Providence Journal

College basketball no longer has the stranglehold around here that it once did. There are reasons for this, of course. The incredible appeal of the Patriots, a season that usually goes deep into January. The incredible popularity of the Red Sox, which has become a year-round phenomenon. The fact that it

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We were discussing having 2 PC-URI games a season here at work the other day. While I don't think it'll happen, it would make complete sense, especially as URI builds their program. The new coach at PC is doing pretty well and I have a feeling by next season PC basketball will be talked about a bit more than it is today.

One could also make the argument for a second PC-UConn game or PC-BC, as those rivalries are pretty big.

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