Just when people thought the season was finished, Salisbury University's men's basketball team has been brought back from the dead.
The Sea Gulls (19-8, 8-6 CAC) received an at-large bid to find their way to the program's fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament in the past five seasons. After ending the season with a Capital Athletic Conference semifinal loss to Christopher Newport, their season hung in the balance until this morning's selection show.
A strong non-conference schedule undoubtedly helped the Gulls after a 12-1 start this season, including the nine-game win streak that started off the year. Two wins against top-ranked opponents in No. 15 Johns Hopkins University and No. 16 Nichols College were the more notable victories.
Despite ending the season 3-3 in their final six games, their early season showings combined with a comeback for the books in the quarterfinals of the CAC Tournament were enough to keep their season rolling.
SU has not advanced past the first round of the NCAA Tournament since 2015, when they made it to the second round after a victory over East Connecticut State. In their next two first-round losses, the games were decided by a total of five points.
Interim head coach Brian McDermott will have the chance to continue his historic first season with the maroon and gold into a run at the big dance, and when it is survive and advance, the Gulls showed that anything can happen.
The CAC will send three total teams to the tourney, with CAC champion Christopher Newport University leading the way and York College also receiving an at-large bid.
SU will go up against Ohio Athletic Conference champions Baldwin Wallace University (20-8, 11-7 OAC). Both teams will travel to Oswego, New York for a neutral site first-round matchup on Friday, March 1 looking to make some noise in the postseason.
By CHASE GORSKI
Featured photo: Chase Kumor waits on defense against Frostburg St. Feb. 19 (Marshall Haas images).