There were some anxious basketball players on the St. Thomas campus Monday morning as they waited to find out if they had a postseason coming. After losing 63-53 to St. Olaf in the MIAC Playoff championship game Sunday, The Tommies (22-5) left their fate in the hands of the NCAA Selection Committee where anything can happen.
The St. Thomas men’s basketball team solidified a MIAC title Wednesday night, but the Tommies kept the postgame celebration in the locker room to a minimum. That’s because St. Thomas still has one regular season game left Saturday, and it’s against one of their biggest conference rivals.
Every game is big in conference play, but St. Thomas and St. Olaf meet Wednesday night for the biggest game the two teams have played in a long time. It’s been a while since the Oles have been a relevant program in MIAC men’s basketball. St. Olaf has made the playoffs twice in the last six seasons, losing in the quarterfinals both times. With a playoff spot locked up for both teams, St. Thomas needs a road win Wednesday to essentially clinch the regular season title and a No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
The hopes for an undefeated MIAC season came to an end for the St. Thomas men’s basketball team on Monday with a 77-69 loss at rival St. John’s. That loss ended a six-game win streak for the No. 11-ranked Tommies, but it didn’t take long to get back in the winning column.
Two weeks have passed since the college basketball season, and St. Thomas coach John Tauer is still kicking himself at how the year ended despite one of the most successful seasons in history of the program.
This week was spring break at the University of St. Thomas, and men’s basketball coach John Tauer said half-jokingly he’s miserable. It’s got nothing to do with school, but rather that he’s not preparing to play for a national championship.
The road to a championship is never an easy one, and the St. Thomas basketball team isn’t expecting an easy match-up when it faces Wheaton College Saturday night.
It’s been quite a winter over at the St. Thomas campus in St. Paul as two basketball teams are gearing up for the NCAA Tournament.