Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers
Record: (16-16, 9-7 NEC)
RPI: 191 (.486)
BPI: 235 (39.0)
Conference: Northeast Conference
How They Qualified: Automatic Bid (won NEC Tournament)
Mount St. Mary’s is afforded perhaps the greatest injustice of all teams who have a rich history. Unfortunately, many college basketball fans are unaware that one of the greatest coaches in history spent his career in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The legendary Jim Phelan spent 49 years at Mount St. Mary’s, accumulating 830 all-time wins and even winning a Division II National Championship. MSMU was a force under Phelan and perhaps they’re returning to that spot as winners of the NEC Tournament.
The Mountaineers have certainly had a mediocre season. Literally. They’re .500. Despite beginning the season with what seemed to be a disastrous record of 0-5, the Mountaineers have managed to account for every loss with a win. This is all possible, of course, because of the Mountaineers’s scoring tandem of Rashad Whack and Julian Norfleet, averaging 17.7 and 17.5 points per game, respectively. Without those two, who are the heart, soul, and statistical wonders of this Mountaineer team, it’s questionable as to whether or not MSMU would have surpassed ten wins this season (if that).
The conference tournament was, of course, the series of games that put them back to .500 and back in the NCAA Tournament. After winning three games in six days, including very close victories against St. Francis (NY) and Wagner, Mount St. Mary’s faced off against their old foe Robert Morris, the one seed that had defeated them twice this season. In a game that surprised absolutely everyone, Mount St. Mary’s managed to absolutely demolish the Colonials, beating them by seventeen points.
What You Need to Know
Leading Scorer: Rashad Whack – 17.7 points per game
Leading Rebounder: Gregory Graves – 5.5 rebounds per game
Leading Passer: Julian Norfleet – 5.4 assists per game
Bad Losses: Binghamton, Sacred Heart, @ UMBC, @ UMES, @ Fairleigh Dickinson
Good Wins: @ Robert Morris, Wagner (twice)
What to Expect
After winning their previous four games, Mount St. Mary’s is going into the NCAA Tournament on a hot streak. Unfortunately for them, however, they’re likely to get a sixteen seed or possibly compete in a play-in game, which entails that they’re going to have to face off against one of the top four teams in the country.
Obviously no sixteen seed has ever beaten a one seed. This may have been the season that could have happened. Unfortunately, tough one seeds in smaller conferences have been dropping like flies. Mount St. Mary’s took out the best shot the NEC had at sending a team that could possibly pull off a major upset. Instead, Mount St. Mary’s will be entering the tournament and a play-in game is about the only shot they have at winning.
Congratulations to Mount St. Mary’s! They are going dancing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008!