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Friars arrive in Dayton, prep for USC

03.14.17 at 9:16 am ET
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There’s something to be said for getting out of town, at just the right time.

With a snowstorm barreling down on the northeast, travel plans involving east coast teams in this week’s NCAA tournament have been adjusted and in some cases, moved up so the weather won’t keep anyone from arriving for their appointed dates on the dance card.

In Providence’s case, the 11th seeded Friars are scheduled to face fellow-11th seed Southern Cal in the First Four at Dayton, Ohio Wednesday night. But because of the snow, it took most of the day Monday for the NCAA to work out the team charter flight sending the players, coaches, band, cheerleaders, media and some supporters out of Rhode Island.

Once arrangements had been set, the charter flight left T.F. Green at 5:30 p.m. Monday evening and arrived two-and-a-half hours later in Dayton, Ohio, to bagpipes playing the school fight song (“When the Saints go Marching In”) and local organizers greeting the team and personnel.

The First Four games in Dayton tip-off Tuesday night, with 16-seeds Mount St. Mary’s (the Northeast Conference champ) and New Orleans (winner of the Southland Conference) squaring off at 6:40 p.m. ET, followed by 11-seeds Wake Forest (ACC at-large) and Kansas State (Big 12 at large).

Those four teams arrived earlier Tuesday, in time for open workouts and interview sessions at the University of Dayton Arena which were previously scheduled. In places like Buffalo, for instance, where games begin Thursday there was an effort to move those eight schools into the area 24-hours earlier than previously scheduled because of the storm bearing down on the northeast.

Top-seeded Villanova was expected to depart Philadelphia Monday evening, ahead of a predicted 8-to-12 inches of snow there, while other schools affected by the east coast snow include Maryland, Seton Hall, VCU, Vermont, Virginia and Rhode Island – as well as Providence.

In Rhode Island’s case, as of early Monday they were prepared to wait out the storm and depart for Sacramento, CA and their 1st round game with Creighton on Wednesday.

The Friars will have an open workout at UD Arena Tuesday afternoon at 2:20 p.m., with media interviews taking place just prior. Wednesday, North Carolina Central faces Cal-Davis in a match-up of 16-seeds at 6:40 p.m., followed by the Friars and Trojans at approximately 9:10.

All post-season broadcasts for the Friars will air on 103.7 WEEI-FM and friars.com.

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