One is an absolute media darling, the talk of last March on CBS and ESPN. The other figured he might never get here.
Separately, but together, Methuen’s Georges Niang and Windham’s Carson Desrosiers head off to San Antonio to battle in the NCAA Tournament.
On Friday at theAT&T Center, Niang and Iowa State, the No. 3 seed in the East, will take on No. 14 North Carolina Central. Also that day, Desrosiers and Big East champion Providence, seeded 11th, will face North Carolina, the sixth seed.
If both win, Desrosiers and Niang will host a Merrimack Valley/Southern New Hampshire reunion in the Round of 32.
“I never really knew (Niang), just always playing on younger AAU teams against him,” said Desrosiers. “I’d love to catch up with him out here.”
But first things first. Providence has a huge challenge ahead in the Tar Heels. Coach Ed Cooley’s sixth man knows he can’t look ahead.
“We want Providence to be a household name. North Carolina is one of the top names in college basketball,” said Desrosiers. “Beating them would go a long way for Providence basketball.”
Desrosiers was ecstatic, just having arrived in the NCAAs. For a long time, he wondered if it might never happen. For two years, he toiled in a struggling Wake Forest program, before making the decision to transfer to Providence.
“I’m finally here and I feel like I’m on top of the world. Counting this year, I only had two chances left and sure, I thought what if it never happens,” said Desrosiers, who played 15 minutes off the bench and scored 5 points with three points in Saturday night’s title win over Creighton. “It finally did. We took control of our own destiny and won the Big East. As a kid, all you want to do is play in the NCAA tourney. I can say I’m finally going to do that.