GWYNEDD VALLEY, Pa. (CBS) – It’s been quite an emotional ride the last few days for the Gwynedd-Mercy men’s basketball team.

First, the Griffins lost the Colonial States Athletic Conference title game on Friday to Cabrini.  It was their third loss to the Cavaliers in three tries this season.

However, the Griffins’ spirits were lifted on Monday when they learned that they had earned an at-large berth to the Division III NCAA Tournament and a match-up with Buffalo State.

baron <em>Basketball</em>: Gwynedd Mercy Fired Up For NCAA TourneyHead coach John Baron (right) says watching the selection show without knowing for sure they were in, did lead to some anxious moments.

“They went through the left side, and our name was not called.  And then I got a little nervous.  And then halfway through the right side of the bracket, our name came flashing across the screen, so it was an exciting time for our school,” Baron says.

Hear Matt Leon’s entire interview with John Baron in this CBS Philly SportsPod…

The Griffins and Buffalo State both come into Friday’s game, which will be played at Ramapo College in Mahwah, NJ, with 21-6 records.  The Bengals are the SUNYAC champions, and they bring an 11-game winning streak into the match-up with the Griffins.

Baron says Buffalo State can fill it up.

“I know they are an up-tempo team, and they score (84) points (per game), but the good part for us is they give up (77) points.  Which is a lot of points to give up.  So we are going to try and slow them down a little bit,” says Baron.

Gwynedd-Mercy is no slouch on offense either, as the Griffins pour in about 81 points per game while shooting a solid 48 percent from the field as a team.   They are led by senior guard Jon Crabtree, who is scoring 17.3 points per game and senior forward Jon Hogga, who pours in 14.6 points a contest while pulling down a team-high 9.1 rebounds per game.

Friday’s winner will face the winner of Ramapo and Johnson & Wales, in the second round, on Saturday night.

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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