NCAA Tournament Preview: Men’s Basketball

Luke Montalbano, Sports Writer •

The Emory & Henry men’s basketball team has earned their first birth into the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1993, after beating Roanoke College 72-70 in the ODAC championship game. The win was the time Emory & Henry won the ODAC tournament, and look to continue their amazing run in March.

The Wasps will travel to Christopher Newport to take on Franklin & Marshall in the round of 64. The Diplomats come into the game with a 20-6 record as an at-large bid, after falling short to Johns Hopkins University in the Centennial Conference semifinals. They are led by senior guard Brandon Federici who averages 19.7 points per game.

In the other game at Christopher Newport, the Captains will host the Chargers of Lancaster Bible College. The winner of that game will take on the winner of the Emory & Henry vs Franklin & Marshall game in the round of 32.

Coach David Willson reflected on making the school’s first NCAA tournament in 25 years. He said “it is awesome one two levels. First, I am really excited for this team and that they get to experience this. This group has represented the college in an excellent way this year, and to be able to go on to a national stage, and take Emory and Henry’s name to the NCAA tournament is exciting for all of us.”

During the watch party, Coach Willson pointed out to the players and fans in attendance that his last collegiate basketball game as a player was against Franklin & Marshall. During his senior year at Hampton-Sydney, the Tigers fell short to Franklin & Marshall 78-76 in the round of 32. However, coach Willson is hoping to avenge the Diplomats as a coach with the Wasps to get Emory & Henry back to the round of 32.

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