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By BRENDAN McGAIR
PROVIDENCE â€“ While weâ€™re still a few weeks away from postseason play in R.I. boysâ€™ basketball, the venues for the three division tournaments and 16-team open state tournament are set.
Division play will begin on Saturday, Feb. 16 with preliminary-round action at school sites. The quarterfinals are scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 19 and like the preliminaries will take place on high school grounds.
The semifinals, on tap for Friday, Feb. 22 will be dispersed to three venues â€“ CCRI-Warwick, Bryant University and Roger Williams University. Doubleheaders will be held at each site with the first game beginning at 6 p.m. with the second contest to begin roughly at 8 oâ€™clock. Regarding where each division will hold its semifinal-round bracket, itâ€™s yet to be determined.
The finals in all three divisions will be held at Brown University on Sunday, Feb. 24. The Division II championship game is first up at 1 p.m. followed by Division III (3:30) and Division I (6 oâ€™clock).
Once the division tournaments are in the books, the focus will shift to the open tournament. Play opens Wednesday, Feb. 27 with the Round of 16 taking place at two sites: CCRI-Warwick and Rhode Island College. A doubleheader will take place at each spot that begins at 6 p.m. with the nightcap on tap for 8 oâ€™clock.
Another set of Round of 16 games will unfold on Thursday, Feb. 28 at CCRI-Warwick and Roger Williams University. Like the previous night, each spot will feature doubleheaders at 6 and 8 p.m.
For the second straight year, the Round of Eight will take place at Providence Collegeâ€™s Alumni Hall. This quadruple header kicks off at noon with games scheduled for 2 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
URIâ€™s Ryan Center will roll out the red carpet for the Final Four and state championship game. The two semifinal games will take place Friday, March 8 at 6 and 8 p.m. A night later, the two remaining teams will meet in a 7:30 p.m. contest.