Holy Cross does the improbable, claims NCAA Tourney berth
Winless on the road in regular-season conference games, the Holy Cross Crusaders turned into Patriot League tournament road warriors, and the path is extended all the way to the NCAA tournament.
The Crusaders are 14-19 and had lost all nine conference road games during the regular season. Once the tournament started, the Crusaders won at Loyola, beat top-seeded Bucknell, won at Army, then knocked off second-seeded Lehigh (17-15).
Holy Cross is the 25th team ever to make the NCAA tournament with a losing record and just the fifth team to make the tournament with 19 or more losses, according to ESPN Stats & Information. No team with that many losses has won a NCAA Tournament game since the 1955 Bradley Braves, who made it to the Elite Eight at that time (the NCAA Tournament field was a lot smaller then).
The Crusaders straightened their season out in the conference tournament and became the lowest-seeded team to win the Patriot League.
“It’s been a hard, hard year,” Holy Cross Bill Carmody said. “When you’re 5-13 or have 19 losses, that’s tough on everybody. The people in Worcester, the Holy Cross alumnus. It’s tough on the psyche.”
This is the 13th appearance for Holy Cross in the NCAA Tournament, and they likely will be apart of the 16-vs-16 play-in game. Which, as a player, is not a bad pairing…it gives the Holy Cross team a chance to not only continue their winning ways, but beat a team that is on the same playing field as them. If they win, a date with Kansas, North Carolina or Villanova is likely. And as we know, there has not been a #16 seed to ever beat a #1 in the tournament. Maybe 2016 will be the first?
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