What seemed impossible 7 weeks ago is a reality today: Gannon has been selected for the NCAA Division II men's basketball tournament!
Here is the Atlantic Region men's field which will be hosted at East Stroudsburg:
#1 East Stroudsburg (28-1) vs. #8 Livingstone (21-7)
#4 Charleston W.V. (21-8) vs. #5 Gannon (19-9)
#3 Indiana Pa. (23-4) vs. #6 West Chester (20-9)
#2 West Liberty (26-3) vs. #7 Glenville State (18-10)
I bet Fairmont State is berserk. They were #6 in the region heading into the Mountain East tournament, went 1-1 with their loss to powerhouse West Liberty, but then saw #8 Glenville -- who also went 1-1 in the MEC tournament -- get a bid instead. All this week I had two teams listed as "very likely in." One was Fairmont and the other was Gannon. Glad the Knights got the call instead.
Gannon will face former assistant coach Chris Kibler in the first round. Now an assistant at CU, Kibler coached under Jerry Slocum and is a super-nice guy. He's been back to a few Gannon games over the years and has been very pleasant. I tried sending him a "good luck" email a few minutes ago but it bounced back. Let's hope Gannon is not rejected Saturday in similar fashion.
The regionals open Saturday, March 15, with the second round set for Sunday, March 16. Two lucky teams will meet Tuesday, March 18, in the regional finals. The men's Elite 8 will be held March 26, 27, and 29 in Evansville, Ind.
Interesting to see 2013-14 GU opponent LeMoyne make the field as the #6 seed in the East Region. The Dolphins finished their season 17-11 overall, one of those wins occurring at the Hammermill over the Knights, 65-62, back on Nov. 29. Former Gannon players Bubby Johnson and Stephen Battle will be in the tournament as well representing South #1 seed Florida Southern (26-4).
Here is the Atlantic Region women's field which will be hosted at Glenville State:
#1 Glenville State (28-3) vs. #8 West Liberty (20-10)
#4 Bloomsburg (24-4) vs. #5 Virginia State (25-2)
#3 Gannon (27-3) vs. #6 Shaw (21-8)
#2 Edinboro (24-5) vs. #7 Charleston (21-8)