March Madness comes to Lipscomb (and abruptly leaves)

Lipscomb’s biggest March Madness moment of my short career came on the first of the month against Jacksonville in the conference tournament.

The Dolphins were the third seed of eight. We had the chance to end the regular season with the third seed but lost badly to Kennesaw and fell to sixth.

In the Atlantic Sun Conference, the better seed hosts each game. So the team (without me, of course) went to Jacksonville, JC dropped 35, and we just flat-out won.

I guess it was Madness. Stetson also got in on the madness, upsetting NJIT 82-67 on the Highlanders’ home court. That set the stage for Lipscomb to host the semifinal right here in Allen!

As the seventh seed, Stetson wasn’t under much scrutiny until this point. But then everyone realized Stetson, despite being 4-10 in conference play, could beat anyone on the right night.

(In fact, the Hatters murdered us on our home floor. It was an emotional locker room, especially around the seniors–J.J. Butler, Talbott Denny, Dylan Greene, Charles Smith and David Wishon. I was going to write a lot more about this but decided to respect the privacy of these teammates).

The other problem with Stetson was the fact that the Hatters were even in the tournament at all. Due to poor APR scores, they suspended themselves from going to the NCAA Tournament. I don’t think anyone thought it was even a big deal, because they didn’t seem to have a chance at the beginning of the year.

After Stetson ended our season, it advanced to the conference championship to play Florida Gulf Coast. This is where it got really weird. Since Stetson couldn’t play in the NCAAs, Gulf Coast would earn the A-Sun’s automatic bid, as the runner-up, right…?

Wrong.

For some reason, the A-Sun has a bylaw or something that says the regular-season conference champ receives the bid if the tournament champion forfeits it.

So the North Florida Fish Eagles (or whatever Ospreys are) were set to take Stetson’s bid if the Hatters could knock off Gulf Coast, despite the Ospreys losing to Gulf Coast in the semifinals on the other side.

So why were we even playing the tournament?

Luckily, Zach Johnson ate Divine Myles’ lunch at the rim in overtime, and the A-Sun was spared the embarrassment of a meaningless conference tournament, and we didn’t all have to watch North Florida get murdered in the first round by some 1 seed.

What do you think? Was it unfair that Stetson got to play in the A-Sun Tournament?

 

4 thoughts on “March Madness comes to Lipscomb (and abruptly leaves)

  1. Awesome post Cole! Thanks for keeping us updated on the inside of the basketball team. It was super informative and you know a lot of stuff about the team! You go! Haha happy late birthday also! And I have no idea if it was unfair that Stetson played! If you thought it was then I’ll agree with you! Killing it!

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  2. I love the title of this! I don’t really know much about basketball, but you’re a great writer and I enjoyed reading your post!

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  3. Going to be totally honest, I haven’t really followed much of Lipscomb Basketball over the season but I love how pumped the study body became when we found out we’d be hosting the game! As far as Stetson game goes, I don’t really think it fair that got to play, but this is coming from someone that doesn’t know much about basketball ahah! Thanks for keeping me updated, I can really see how you enjoy your job as the manager!

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  4. Cheering at Jacksonville was just like you described- absolute madness. I am against Stetson being in the tournament, but I am also heavily biased because I like traveling and cheering. Either way, it can’t be changed now. Time to focus on next season (and as always, go Bisons)!

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