One heck of a turnaround - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

One heck of a turnaround

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SMITHFIELD, R.I. -

After a dismal 2-28 record last year, the Bryant men's basketball team did not have high hopes entering this season.

But what a difference a year makes.

The Bulldogs are 19-10 and are tied for second place in the Northeastern Conference at 12-6.

"I said I got to pinch myself. This is surreal. It's like I've entered an alternative universe from where I was a year ago. It was like, we've lost to such a degree, it was depressing. And to see what we are enjoying now, it's just incredible," said Bryant coach Tim O'Shea.

This is the first year the Bulldogs are eligible for postseason play in Division I. Bryant could earn a bid to the NCAA tournament if it wins the NEC tournament.

But the team says it is taking it one game at a time, starting with Mount St. Mary's in the quarterfinals on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

"While (the NCAA tournament) is in the back of everyone's mind, that we want to win the conference tournament, right now it's all about Mount St. Mary's," said Bryant senior Frankie Dobbs.

"I mean our ultimate goal is to win the whole thing and represent Bryant University in the NCAA tournament," said Bryant junior Alex Francis.

And it's not just the players that are excited. The student body lined up all day Tuesday just to get a ticket to Wednesday night's game.

"I saw something (Tuesday) that I honestly thought I would never see at Bryant, and that was a line of students stretching from outside of the athletic offices all the way over to the main student building to pick up tickets. And honestly, never thought in a million years that I would see it at Bryant," O'Shea said.

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