Beware the Providence Friar

RALEIGH — No. 1 seed North Carolina tips off against No. 9 seed Providence Saturday night at 9:40.
You know what that means?
This guy will likely be the last thing you see before you go to sleep.

Nightmare city, right?
Look at those lifeless eyes. That silent scream.

Forget Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil.
The scariest thing about Providence will be sitting on the baseline, waiting to suck out the souls of everyone in PNC Arena.
UNC last saw the Friar two years ago in San Antonio and lived to tell the tale.
That’s not an easily forgotten face, but Kennedy Meeks seemingly blocked it from his memory.
“No, I’ve never seen their mascot before but I’m looking forward to seeing it, though,” he said.
Think again, Meeks, you’re going to regret making eye contact when it levitates over to you midgame.
Theo Pinson hadn’t seen him/it either, but when showed a picture, he was speechless.
“I have not noticed that at all,” the sophomore said. “That’s crazy. That probably helps them out a little bit when they go play other teams. But that’s a pretty interesting mascot.”
Interesting is a nice way to put it.
Fellow sophomore Nate Britt had a similar reaction when he got his first look at the Friar.
“That is scary,” Britt said, nervously laughing. “I would not, I feel that’s … nevermind. I don’t want to say anything bad about their mascot that someone might not like but I don’t know. That’s different. I’ll just say that’s different.”
The Friar isn’t the only mascot that UNC’s faced that puts the team on edge. Pinson said he’s not a huge fan of Syracuse’s Otto the Orange, and of course, he doesn’t like the Duke Blue Devil.
For Britt, the caricatured human mascots are the most off-putting. Looking at you, Demon Deacon.

“I think it’s kind of cool how he comes out on a motorcycle before games,” Britt said. “The Harley, that’s pretty intense and it gets loud in there before the games start. I don’t know, it’s just different. Just like Providence is a little bit different.”
Again, different is putting it kindly.
Thanks to the UNC players for being good sports about this very important line of questioning, and sorry if you see this guy in your dreams tonight.

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