PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Cabrini University men’s basketball team is headed to the Division III NCAA Tournament.
The Cavaliers earned an automatic bid into the field as the champions of the Colonial States Athletic Conference. Thanks to that title and a 24-3 record, Cabrini will open the tourney at home, hosting The College of Staten Island in the first round on Friday night.
This will be Cabrini’s 14th NCAA Tournament appearance and head coach Tim McDonald says his team really earned it.
“We continued to get better throughout the year and that was something that we harped on is continuing to grow each and every day,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “And I think we were able to do that.”
Cabrini has an awful lot of talent on their roster, and at the top of the list is a senior forward from Olney Charter High School in Philadelphia, Tyheim Monroe.
“He has been, throughout his career, probably the definition of consistency,” McDonald says. “He has averaged a little over 21 points a game the last couple years and has led the country in rebounding the last three years, including this year [15.1 rpg]. So everything that we kind of do starts with him. He took a leadership role this year and really led our young team.”
Cabrini and Staten Island actually met during the regular season back on February 3rd in Radnor with the Cavaliers winning, 76-74. McDonald scouts the Dolphins.
“Similar to us, they are very athletic,” he says. “They have guys that are really good going to the rim. They are a really good defensive team.”
McDonald is really happy to play this first weekend in the friendly confines of Nerney Field House.
“That’s a huge opportunity for us,” he says. “You don’t have to worry about getting out on Wednesday or Thursday morning to go travel to another site. You get to stay with your daily routine, the guys get to sleep in their own beds. They don’t have to worry about being in a hotel, getting up, trying to find meals all over the place. So I think that’s a big advantage being able to play here.”
The winner of this game gets the winner of Albright/Springfield in the second round on Saturday in Radnor.
Cabrini and Staten Island will get underway on Friday night at 7:30.