The St. Thomas men’s basketball team savored the moment after beating Bethel 66-63 in the title game of the MIAC Playoffs Sunday, but there wasn’t a ton of time to celebrate after cutting down the nets.
Most college basketball teams are fighting for their playoff lives at this point in the season. But for John Tauer and St. Thomas, this week is business as usual. When a team wins as many MIAC titles as Tauer’s Tommies have, expectations are higher than just hoping for a chance. You’re expected to win.
The St. Thomas men’s basketball team had reason to celebrate Monday night. The Tommies, ranked No. 3 in Division III, used a suffocating defense and balanced scoring to dominate No. 19-ranked St. Olaf 66-49.
A late rally that included an onside kick recovery late in the fourth quarter came up just short for the St. Thomas football team in a 37-71 loss at Wartburg Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Playoffs.
The St. Thomas football team celebrated Senior Day with a 57-35 win in its regular season finale against Gustavus on Saturday. Most of the 17 seniors on the squad also probably thought it was their final college football game. Not so fast. There was a sliver of hope for the No. 20-ranked Tommies after Bethel went to double overtime with Augsburg and lost 62-61 for its second loss of the season.
It will be a bittersweet day for 17 seniors on Saturday as the St. Thomas football team plays its final regular season home game against Gustavus. It will also mark the end of their football careers as the Tommies are, at best, now a longshot for an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Playoffs.
It’s now a two-game season for the St. Thomas football team, and assuming the Tommies win both of their remaining games, they’ll be in virtually the same spot they were in at this time last year. The Tommies, ranked No. 24 in the latest Division III poll, went back and forth with Concordia (Moorhead) last Saturday in the fourth quarter and came away with a 35-32 victory over the Cobbers.
The St. Thomas football program is at a crossroads as it heads into its penultimate home game Saturday against Concordia (Moorhead). The Tommies are 5-2 overall, 3-2 in the MIAC and for the first time since 2009, Glenn Caruso’s program is on the outside looking in at the national polls.
The St. Thomas football team, ranked No. 22 in the country, faces its biggest game of the year Saturday at No. 11-ranked Bethel. The Tommies need a win over the Royals to stay in the hunt for a MIAC title and keep their chances alive to get to the postseason.
We’re about halfway through the MIAC football schedule, and the conference race is already starting to take shape. While many of the usual suspects are near the top, there’s one name that’s in unfamiliar territory. And St. Thomas remains one game back in the MIAC race after being Augsburg in its homecoming game 45-27.
Sometimes all it takes to recover from a frustrating loss to your rival is to blow out your next opponent with a dominating performance in all phases. That’s exactly what happened for the No. 24-ranked St. Thomas football team on Saturday. After a disappointing 24-14 loss to St. John’s last week, the Tommies put away St. Olaf early in a 69-7 win over the Oles in Northfield.
The St. Thomas football team likely has to win the rest of its games after losing to St. John’s last Saturday to get to the NCAA Playoffs. They still face tough league games against Bethel, the consensus MIAC favorite, Ausgburg, Concordia and Gustavus.
If you attend college at St. Thomas or St. John’s, the weekend where the two squads square off on the football field represents everything that’s right about college athletics. It will be an electric atmosphere on Saturday as the No. 10-ranked Tommies (2-0) host the Johnnies at O’Shaughnessy Stadium. With a forecast of close to 80 degrees and sunny skies expected, it will be a packed house as more than 10,000 fans are anticipated to represent the two schools.
St. Thomas scored 14 points in the first four minutes and cruised to a 46-0 win over the Eagles to improve to 2-0 on the season. It was exactly the type of performance Glenn Caruso was looking for out of his squad after a sluggish 22-17 win over UW-Eau Claire in the season-opener.
It certainly wasn’t the prettiest of games, but the St. Thomas football team is off to a 1-0 start after holding off UW-Eau Claire 22-17 on Saturday. The Tommies had a 22-3 lead in the third quarter at one point, but they needed a late interception from Sean Hamlin to seal their first victory of the season.
After about a month of fall camp and a final scrimmage to finalize some preseason items, coach Glenn Caruso and the St. Thomas football team play an opponent for real this weekend. The Tommies, coming off an 8-2 season in 2013 and their first time not in the NCAA Playoffs since Caruso’s first year at St. Thomas, host UW-Eau Claire Saturday to open the regular season.
There were 136 players reporting for duty Saturday as Glenn Caruso opened his seventh season as the head coach of the Tommies. After failing to reach the NCAA Playoffs in 2013 for the first time in four years, two years removed from a run to the Division III national championship game, the program is hungry for better results in 2014.
It was announced earlier this month that St. Thomas football reached an agreement with WCCO Radio to stay on the local station for at least the next three years. WCCO Radio 830 AM has been broadcasting St. Thomas football since 2011.
Coming off its first two-loss regular season since Glenn Caruso’s first year as coach, the man in charge announced his 2014 recruiting class last week. Caruso, entering his sixth season with the Tommies in 2014, is looking for his program to bounce back this year after missing the NCAA Division III Playoffs for the first time in four years.
Sunday, more than 100 St. Thomas football players will be back on the field as the Tommies open their 2014 spring practice session. After missing out on the postseason in 2013, you can bet they’ll be as hungry as ever to get back to work.
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.
A spot in the MIAC title game is on the line Friday night as St. Thomas (21-4) hosts Bethel. The Tommies ended the regular season with a 76-69 loss to St. John’s in their final regular season home game.
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.
It’s a safe bet that the St. Thomas football team will be a motivated bunch when the squad hits the football field in August for the start of the fall season. The Tommies entered the 2013 season a top-five ranked team and a contender to return to not only the NCAA Division III playoffs, but a possible return to the national title game.