What is the Paradise Jam Tournament:
It is an eight team tournament taking place in the U.S. Virgin Islands from November 22nd to the 25th.
Providence, La Salle, Loyola Marymount, Maryland, Marist, Morgan State, Northern Iowa and Vanderbilt.
How can you watch:
CBS Sports Network (which means most can’t watch)
In my Puerto Rico Tip-Off preview on Thursday I said that Georgetown received a favorable draw and should pretty much coast to the championship game. Naturally, they promptly lost in the first round to a powerhouse Northeastern team 63-56 on Thursday afternoon. Go figure. Now it’s time to redeem myself.
The Paradise Jam field is weak compared to the Puerto Rico Tip-Off field. I think anyway. Maybe not. Georgetown and VCU both lost in the first round. The two teams I had to meet in the championship. Whoops.
But I believe in Providence! The advanced metrics say they are the best team in the field, and my eyes tell me it’s not even close. Vanderbilt should give them some fight in their opening round game, but it’s nothing the Friars can’t handle. Butler just beat the Commodores on Tuesday. And while Butler has been a bit of an early season surprise, I think Providence is the superior team.
With Kris Dunn back, and looking healthy the other night, PC is ready to start playing some good basketball. And there are rumors suggesting that Brandon Austin might have his suspension lifted this weekend. With or without Austin, Providence should be fine.
I’ve said this a lot in the early part of the season and preseason, but if Providence is to get back to the NCAA tournament for the first time in a decade, they need to take care of business and play up to expectations that the talent on this team garners. This is a good team with Kris Dunn back running the point. A team capable of playing with upper echelon opponents. There aren’t any of those teams in this field this weekend, so anything but a Paradise Jam championship for the Friars would be disappointing.
Providence over Maryland