After an agonizing weekend filled with drama in Worcester, Mass. for the NEWMAC basketball championships, head coach Charlie Brock and his Springfield College basketball team sat in the Schaff Conference Room in Blake Arena actually hoping for the agonizing drama to continue.
The overheated conference room started to feel even warmer as each qualifying team for the NCAA Division III tournament was announced — filling the bracket lines. With only eight lines left to be filled, the 57th team listed was indeed where the game was created, Springfield College.
Elation from the players, coaches, and athletic staff surged through the room, as Springfield College didn’t just punch a ticket to the NCAA’s, they will be hosting the game against Ithaca College in Blake Arena on March 2 at 7:00pm.
“I’m very very happy. This clearly validates the schedule we’ve played,” Brock said. “I think that the opportunity to play the game here at Blake Arena is awesome. All this is a tribute to our guys.”
Ithaca College won the Empire 8 conference tournament as the No. 2 seed, defeating the No.1 seed Stevens Institute of Technology, 70-55 this past weekend. They will come into the game with the same record, 19-8, as the Pride.
Springfield’s NEWMAC semi-final opponent MIT and conference champion WPI will join the Pride in the NCAA’s, a huge accomplishment for any conference at the Division III level. WPI will host SUNY-Purchase College, while MIT will be on the road in Maryland to face St. Mary’s College.
“Ithaca is a very good team,” said coach Brock. “Its always difficult to prepare for a team we know nothing about, but we will do everything we can this week to prepare for Saturday’s game.”