2010 Erie BayHawks: March Madness Edition

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The NCAA Tournament tips off tomorrow, and it's likely that most, if not all, of the Erie BayHawks will be tuning in to check out some of the tournament action. March Madness is something many of them are familiar with. Four of the BayHawks' alma maters are in the Big Dance this year. West Virginia and Ohio State are both 2-seeds, Georgetown is a 3-seed, and Arkansas Pine-Bluff plays Tuesday against Winthrop in the Opening Round game. Here's a breakdown of all of the BayHawks' NCAA postseason resumes.

Blake Ahearn, Missouri State (2003-2007)
Personal NCAA Tournament appearances: 0
Ahearn's Bears made three appearances in the NIT in his four years at the school. The 2005-06 team was the closest to earning an NCAA Tournament bid. They were No. 21 in the RPI, finishing 20-8 overall and 12-6 in the Missouri Valley, which was rated No. 6 in Conference RPI. The Bears finished 4-8 vs. the RPI top 50 and didn't have a loss outside that category. They lost in the Missouri Valley quarterfinals in a 4-5 game and saw their bubble burst on Selection Sunday.

John Bryant, Santa Clara (2005-2009)
Personal NCAA Tournament appearances: 0
Bryant had just one winning season in his four years with Santa Clara. The Bears posted a 21-10 mark his sophomore year, but lost to Gonzaga in the second round of the West Coast Conference Tournament and did not play in the NCAA or NIT. Despite Santa Clara's 16-17 record last year, Bryant was named the 2009 WCC Player of the Year as a senior.

Cliff Clinkscales, DePaul (2004-2008)
Personal NCAA Tournament appearances: 0
Clinkscales was a limited contributor for two DePaul teams that played in the NIT. In his freshman year, DePaul advanced to the second round of the NIT before being bounced by Texas A&M. Then, in his junior year, DePaul again qualified for the NIT and advanced to the quarterfinals where they lost by one point to Air Force.

Mike Gansey, West Virginia (2004-2006)
Personal NCAA Tournament appearances: 2
After transferring from St. Bonaventure, Gansey made the most of his two seasons with the Mountaineers. In 2005, he helped West Virginia make a run to the Elite Eight as a 7-seed in the West bracket. Gansey's 29 points led the Mountaineers' upset of the 2-seed, Wake Forest, a team led by Chris Paul in a 111-105 double-overtime thriller to reach the Sweet 16. There they knocked off Texas Tech. In the Elite Eight, West Virginia had a 20-point lead and appeared poised to move on to the Final Four before Louisville mounted a comeback for the ages. The Cardinals eventually won 93-85 in overtime.

In 2006, Gansey's final season at West Virginia, the Mountaineers returned to the tournament as a 6-seed, losing in heartbreaking fashion in the Sweet 16. Moments after WVU tied the game at 71, 3-seed Texas raced down the court and Kenton Paulino hit a 3 at the buzzer to advance the Longhorns. Gansey had 18 points and 5 rebounds in the final game of his storied Mountaineer career.

Kyle Goldcamp, Gannon (2007-2009)
Personal NCAA Division II Tournament appearances: 2
Goldcamp's arrival at Gannon sparked the Golden Knights to back-to-back NCAA Division II tournament appearances. Goldcamp's presence inside was one of the main reasons Gannon made it all the way to the Elight Eight.

Jarvis Gunter, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2003-2008)
Personal NCAA Division II Tournament appearances: 0
Gunter's Golden Lions are dancing this year, but Arkansas-Pine Bluff never enjoyed a winning season during his seasons. They came the closest in 2006 when they lost to Southern in the finals of the SWAC Tournament.

Ivan Harris, Ohio State (2003-2007)
Personal NCAA Tournament appearances: 2
In his junior season, Harris and the Buckeyes earned a 2-seed in the Midwest bracket but were bounced in the second round by Georgetown. The following season, the Buckeyes earned a 1-seed. Harris played 20 minutes per game on a loaded team that also featured Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Daequan Cook, Ron Lewis, and Jamar Butler. In the Final Four, Harris scored 9 points and added 7 rebounds as the Buckeyes avenged the previous season's loss to Georgetown. However, the Buckeyes lost in the championship game to Florida.

Jackie Manuel, North Carolina (2001-2005)
Personal NCAA Tournament appearances: 2
The Tar Heels missed the tournament in Manuel's first two seasons. His junior year, they qualified as a 6-seed and defeated Air Force in round one before losing to Texas in the second round. Of course, no one on the BayHawks can compete with Manuel's senior campaign, where Manuel teamed with four NBA lottery picks to win the 2005 national championship. While Sean May, Raymond Felton, Rashad McCants, and Marvin Williams got the glory, Manuel did the dirty work as the team's best defender en route to the national championship.

Michael Sweetney, Georgetown (2000-2003)
Personal NCAA Tournament appearances: 1
Sweetney's only appearance in the tournament came in his freshman year at Georgetown when the Hoyas advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2001. He averaged 12.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game for that Hoyas team. Though his production increased as a sophomore and junior (he declared for the NBA draft after his junior season), the Hoyas did not make the NCAA Tournament. Sweetney did, however, lead the Hoyas to the NIT championship in 2003, where they lost to St. John's.

Frank Tolbert, Auburn (2004-2008)
Personal NCAA Tournament appearances: 0
The Tigers never made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament in Tolbert's four seasons. His greatest year of statistical production came in 2007-08 as a senior when he averaged 13.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in just over 30 minutes per game.

Cedric Jackon, Cleveland State (2007-2009)
Personal NCAA Tournament appearances: 1
He's currently playing with the Spurs, but BayHawks call-up Cedric Jackson deserves a mention. After playing two seasons at St. John's, Jackson transferred to Cleveland State and sat out the 2006-07 season. He helped the Vikings make the NIT in 2008, but it was last season that he really put Cleveland State on the map. First, he hit this shot to upset Syrcause. Then, he led his 13-seed Vikings past Wake Forest in an impressive 84-69 first round upset with 19 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals. They then lost in the second round to Arizona, but the fans of Cleveland State will always remember the '09 team and Cedric Jackson.


Anonymous said...
March 18, 2010 at 1:59 AM  

Notice Wake Forest's two biggest/most recent upsets came because of two current Erie BayHawks. Coincidence? Don't think so. I suggest you watch Texas for the next Erie BayHawk...

Matt Hubert said...
March 18, 2010 at 9:01 AM  

Haha I guess I'll have to pay extra close attention to the Longhorns. Either that or Erie could try to lure Mark Madsen out of retirement from the Flash since he was a part of that '97 team that knocked off Tim Duncan's crew. Wake also has the brother of a former BayHawk in Aminu. Connections abound...

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About this blog/blogger

Blog Talk BayHawk is an unofficial Erie BayHawks blog covering the NBA D-League. It features opinions and information about the NBADL and the Erie BayHawks. Blog Talk BayHawk is written from a basketball fan’s perspective to fill In the gaps left by professional journalists’ coverage of BayHawks basketball and the Erie professional basketball scene.

Matt Hubert is a 25-year-old writer and basketball fanatic born and raised in Erie, Pa. He graduated from Mercyhurst College in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in English and a dual concentration in writing and creative writing. Matt's not wavering from his stance as a lifelong Los Angeles Lakers fan, but he will cover the BayHawks' NBA affiliates in Cleveland and Toronto when it makes sense to do so throughout the year.

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