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Providence is on their way back to national relevancy

Feb 16, 2013, 1:59 PM EDT

Kadeem Batts

There may not be a team in the country that is as hot as Providence is right now.

After beating No. 21 Notre Dame 71-54 on Saturday afternoon, the Friars have now won four straight in the Big East, which includes a 54-50 win over then-No. 17 Cincinnati last Wednesday. In fact, if you look at their last 12 games — a stretch where Providence has gone just 6-6, including this four-game winning streak — Providence hasn’t lost by more than 10 points since Louisville visited them on the day after New Years.

When you’re dropping six out of eight, that’s not really all that impressive of a stat.

But when you’re Providence, a team that has been a bottom-feeder in the Big East, it’s most certainly a good sign.

The Friars have been competitive all season long, and now they’re finally learning how to win games. They’ve spent much of this season banged up, two of their most talented additions over the summer — Ricky Ledo and Sidiki Johnson — are not playing right now, and their most talented recruit — Kris Dunn — is actually the third best guard on the roster.

Providence is still at least a year away, but the improvement of this team is inarguable. Ed Cooley has proven that he’s able to recruit, and the Northeast has quite a bit of talent right now, especially when you factor in all the high-powered prep schools in the area.

Providence has been a punch-line during the demise of the Big East and conference realignment.

But if you read between this lines, this is a program that appears ready to return to the national stage.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

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