Sunday, March 6, 2011

And You Thought Gannon Had Heartbreakers

I almost fell off my chair when the Atlantic Region field was announced just now for the men's Division II tournament. Check out the bracket:

1 West Liberty
8 Slippery Rock

4 Shaw
5 Winston Salem State

3 Bowie State
6 Mansfield

7 West Va. Wesleyan

Notice anybody missing from that list? Mercyhurst. Despite a 20-7 overall record, the Lakers missed out on their first-ever NCAA bid in school history. How quickly Mercyhurst crashed from the basketball penthouse.

Heading into the Gannon game on Feb. 16, the Hurst was 19-3 overall, #3 in the region, #17 in the country, undefeated in the PSAC West, and two games ahead of IUP for hosting the conference tournament. The Knights outworked the Lakers, 79-71, which started a season-ending streak where Mercyhurst lost 4 of its last 5.

If I was as big a Laker fan as I am a Gannon fan, I would be puking my guts out right now. Or punching myself in the face. Or both. Even if you're a Laker Hater, you have to feel awful for them.

In the Midwest Region: Wayne State, who Gannon squeaked past in the Porreco Cup, won the GLIAC tournament earlier today and earned the #3 seed in the Midwest Region. The shocker in the Midwest was Findlay not being selected for the tournament. You can tell the Oilers are outraged based on the details in their press release about not making the tourney. It's a real slap in the face to the GLIAC that 24-4 Findlay is snubbed in favor of a 19-8 GLVC team (Univ. of Indianapolis).


  1. I feel bad for Mercyhurst not getting into the NCAA's? Not really, even though I do think they deserve to get in over Slippery Rock. If Mercyhurst would have beat Slippery Rock in their 2nd matchup, they would have made it. Mercyhurst just tanked at the worse time possible.

  2. There was a saying by Dodgers fans: "The next best thing to being in the World Series is stopping the Giants from making the World Series."

    At least Gannon fans can take solace in the fact that we likely knocked Mercyhurst out of their first-ever NCAA bid.

    What did Findlay have to do to get a bid? Go 25-3? Go 26-2? Good thing that they went undefeated in 2009. They may not have made the NCAAs if they lost a game. :-)

    By my count, GU was 2-4 against NCAA qualifiers this year.

    And congrats to the Edinboro women for earning the right to host the regional. It's the third straight year an NCAA Division II regional will be hosted in Erie County. (Happened in 1986-88 as well, all by the GU men)

  3. That my friends is why you have to win your league tournament for the automatic bid. You can't put it in the hands of a committee

  4. All true, and it would have been an accomplishment for them to finally make the NCAA tourney.

    But, with all their injuries, most Hurst fans with a clue knew that they were unable to compete, so maybe not making it was a blessing compared to making it and hitting the road only to get embarassed.

    I know, some of you'll say that you never know once the ball gets thrown up, but, in this case, they've been leaking oil ever since Jackson got hurt. Think of it as a mercy omission on the part of the committee. They DID lose 4 of their last 5. That's something the committee looks at.

  5. I'm not sure which is more baffling, 'Hurst or Find-lay. It seems both should have made it before some others that did.

    I don't feel that bad about the Oilers, if for no other reason than it means their radio guys won't be there (as annoying and rude a pair ever, both on and off the air.). But I really had hoped MC would have made it. I realize they had an epic meltdown down the stretch, but based on their body of work, I felt they should have gotten a bid.

  6. I'm sorry but I am thrilled that Mercyhurst didn't make it (sorry but I cannot feel bad for them). 1) I'm die-hard Gannon and even slightly cheering for a team with the likes of Hurst or Boro is something I just cannot do 2) I can't stand Manchel...

    About Findlay, it's nice to see them not make it for a change! They always had a bid just handed to them, so this may make them work harder to make sure they win the automatic bid.

  7. You may wonder about Findlay but the other one is Hillsdale who had a 20-6 record and was left home. That region has always been owned by the Great Lakes Valley league who thinks they are the best in the world even if they either do not make he final eight or if they do they do not win it all. The last time hey won was 2001 KW and after that they changed thier rules on recruits because of KW's practices and Harper bailed.

  8. Jim - Thanks for sponsoring another year of this blog and your continual support of GU sports!