Albany, NY –After capturing the first Skyline Conference Men's Basketball Championship on Saturday afternoon, The Sage Colleges' men's basketball team has been awarded an NCAA Division III Tournament bid. Sage (23-4) will face Amherst College (20-7) on Friday, March 6 at 5:30 p.m. on the campus of St. John Fisher College (Rochester, NY). The Cardinals of SJF (23-4) will face WPI (21-5) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. with the two first round winners meeting at second round action at Fisher's Manning & Napier Varsity Gym with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.
(children under 2 are free) and $3 for students with ID.
For Sage, the NCAA tournament appearance is the first in program history, while Amherst is making the 17th appearance in the tournament. The Jeffs are 20-7 overall entering the 2015 NCAA Championships and boast a 36-16 overall record in the national postseason tournament, including two national titles (2007, 2013) and six Final Four appearances (2004, '06, '07, '08, '13, '14).
Named the Skyline Championship Most Outstanding Player, junior guard Andre Robinson (Fort Pierce, FL/Fort Pierce Westwood) was led the team with his 17 points and 12 rebounds with five assists and two steals as the Gators beat St. Joseph's College (LI), 84-70 in the championship game. Robinson, who was also named this week's Skyline Men's Basketball Player of the Week, after a strong performance in the final as he shot 2-of-4 from the field and 12-for-14 from the lin. In the semifinals, he added four points, six rebounds and eight assists on February 26 in the Gators' 92-74 semifinal victory versus Old Westbury.
Sage's senior forward Kai Deans (Miami, FL/Monsignor Pace), the Skyline Conference Player of the Year, has 449 points on the season, a new standard for most points in a campaign for any Gator, while elevating his career number to 807 points, good enough for the No. 4 all-time leading scorer in program history. Deans leads the Gators in scoring with 17.3 ppg and also in rebounding with an 8.7 rpg average. He has a blistering 54.0% FG% as well, while blocking 35 shots in 26 games played. Earlier this year he broke the single-game scoring mark with a 33 point effort as Sage topped Mt. St. Vincent on January 31. He also broke the single-game blocks record with seven blocks in the Skyline Semifinal win over SUNY-Old Westbury. He has been the team's high scorer 12 times this season, while leading the team in rebounding 15 times.
Robinson has 11.0 ppg average, while adding 5.6 rpg and 95 assists. A Skyline Conference First-team honoree, he has 42 three-point baskets on the season.
Junior guard Jorrdan McCray (Orlando, FL/Wekiva) is the squad's second leading scorer as he has an 11.3 ppg average while adding 2.3 rpg and 59 steals. Junior forward Melvin Ford (Voorhees, NJ/Eastern Regional) is averaging 9.0 ppg with 8.3 rpg this season. Ford moved into the No. 3 spot on the team's all-time rebounding list after his efforts on Saturday as he now has 487 boards. He also has 659 points and ranks No. 6 all-time in scoring. Classmate junior swingman Travis Gill (Brooklyn, NY/Xaverian), the Skyline Defensive Player of the Year, has a 7.1 ppg average with a 3.6 rpg average. Gill has 65 assists with 26 steals.
Senior tri-captain Jacob Sopchak (Rhinebeck, NY/Rhinebeck) has a 5.1 ppg average with a 4.5 rpg average. He has 115 career blocks as the Gators' all-time leading shot blocker and has a league-best 52 blocks this season. Senior tri-captain Troy Nwanna (Washington, DC/Mercersburg Academy) has played in 26 games this season, while adding 7.2ppg and 3.9 rpg. Nwanna has been a force at the line and has a 79.2 FT%, while elevating his resume to include 500 points with 273 rebounds. He is now No. 7 on the all-time scoring list, while ranking No. 6 in career rebounding.
Sophomore forward Brett Ullman (Sharon Springs, NY/Sharon Springs Central) leads the team from downtown with his 52 three-pointers. He has a 6.6 ppg average, while adding a 48.1% mark from three-point range. He is already No. 3 all-time with 69 career three's in his time as a Gator.
Sophomore forward Marcus Patterson (Bronx, NY/Mount Saint Michael Academy) checks in with a 6.0 ppg average with a 3.8 rpg average. Rounding out the Gators' bench have been junior Matt LaClair (Selkirk, NY/Albany Academy), sophomore Ryan Wilson (Queens, NY/Holy Cross), and rookies Alex Lilac (Hoosick Falls, NY/Hoosick Falls) and DaShaun Washington (Fort Lee, NJ/Fort Lee).
Named the 2014-2015 Skyline Conference Men's Basketball Coach of the Year, Brian Barnes is in his sixth season with the Gators, a team he built from the ground up. He improves to 81-75 at the helm of the program as this year's squad has set new high-water marks for most wins (23), most Skyline Conference wins (15), and longest win streak (11).
JOIN SAGE MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM AS THEY LEARN THEIR PLACEMENT IN THE 2015 NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
Albany, NY –Top seeded Sage's men's basketball team collected the program's first Skyline Conference Men's Basketball Championship Saturday afternoon in a packed and rowdy Kahl Gym. With that win came the program's first NCAA Tournament bid for the sixth year Gators.
Making their first-ever appearance in the finals, the Gators (23-4) improved to 13-0 at home and will represent the Skyline when the field for the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship is announced at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, March 2. Sage brings an 11-game win streak into the NCAA tournament and went undefeated in the month of February.
On Monday at noon, Sage will hold a viewing party with the team and coaches as they find out when and where they will be playing as the 64-team field will be revealed.
Monday, March 2
12:30pm – DIII Men's Basketball Selection Show: