Pete Gillen's 1996-1997 Providence Friars team went 21-11 during the regular season. They were led by Austin Croshere, Derrick Brown, Jamel Thomas and God Shammgod and hit their stride at the end of the season. Entering the NCAA Tournament as the #10 seed in the Southeast Region they first knocked off #7 Marquette before upsetting #2 seed Duke to make the Sweet 16.
Another win versus #14 seed Chattanooga put the Friars in the Elite 8 and one win away from the Final Four. Unfortunately, a red hot, and eventual National Champion, Arizona team ended Providence's tourney run in a 96-92 defeat.
"That was the best team I ever coached. We were a little dysfunctional but we were talented."