RADNOR, Pa. (CBS) – For the second straight year, Cabrini College is a member of the Division III men’s basketball NCAA Tournament field.
The Cavaliers will actually serve as a first and second round host, and they will open play on Friday night facing New Jersey City University in the opening round.
In last year’s tournament, Cabrini lost in the first round to perennial power Randolph-Macon out in Reading, Pa., 95-66.
Third-year Cabrini head coach Marcus Kahn says that experience will help everyone this time around.
“I think everybody is a little more relaxed this year, starting with myself,” Kahn told KYW Newsradio. “It was my first time in the NCAA Tournament last year as a coach. Same for our players — it was all our first experience of it.
“We were excited, everything was great that week, and then the closer you got to game day, everything got a little bit tighter for all of us. And then to have to travel and go through all of that.
“So, experiencing that for the first time, we know now as coaches how to better handle our players this week, how to better prepare them. And then of course, keeping it here at home will make our players more comfortable,” Kahn said.
Hear Matt Leon’s entire Marcus Kahn interview in this CBS Philly SportsPod…
Saying the Cavaliers are comfortable at home is a bit of an understatement. The champions of the Colonial States Athletic Conference bring a 26-game home winning streak into the tournament.
As for the match-up with the 19-9 Gothic Knights, Kahn says it will be a tough one for his team.
“They are longer and more athletic than we are as a team,” he noted. “They are relentless on the offensive glass, so we are really going to work on boxing out and rebounding and being more efficient in that area.”
However, Cabrini isn’t still standing by accident. Kahn talks about what makes the Cavaliers so tough: “I think we are hard to guard, and I believe that. We have guys that have proven it in almost every game this year, we have four or five guys that can score in double digits every night. And we usually get that.”
The Cavaliers are led by senior forward Dom Farrello, who averages 17.5 points per game, and sophomore point guard Cory Lemons, who pours in 16.7 points a contest.
The winner of Cabrini-New Jersey City will play the winner of Hartwick College and Purchase College in the second round, on Saturday at Cabrini.
Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060.