PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — This time last year, we started feeling the effects of COVID-19 — the country went into lockdown and many sporting events were canceled, including March Madness. One year later, we are slowly returning to normal and next week, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament begins.
Let’s flashback to the year 1996 — Bill Clinton was in his first term as president, Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant were rookies and a local college had one shining moment.READ MORE: Man Struck, Killed By Vehicle In North Philadelphia, Police Say
Here in 2021, it has a chance for another.
With a win over Elon Tuesday night in the CAA Tournament Championship, Drexel will be dancing.
“These guys wanna win. These guys wanna win and they’re locked in,” said head coach Zack Spiker.
A victory will end the Dragons’ 25-year tournament drought.
But it’s been a wild ride for Drexel, having nine games canceled due to COVID-19. They played just two conference home games.
Head coach Zach Spiker says camaraderie got them through it.READ MORE: Lawncrest Shooting Leaves Man Injured, Philadelphia Police Say
“I think that’s a locker room that really cares about each other. It’s a great group of young men that compete, they have no ego,” he said.
While not household names, James Butler, TJ Bickerstaff and leading-scorer Cam Wynter are a big reason why they’re a win away.
“We have a lot of scorers, a lot of guys who can do different things and we just share the ball. Whoever’s hot is aggressive,” Wynter said.
But with the program on the verge of a special moment, Spiker clearly isn’t satisfied.
“We’re not where we want to be yet but we’re gonna keep our head down and keep going,” Spiker said. “We’re playing for a championship. We’re gonna have our guys as prepared as we possibly can be.”
The last time Drexel was in the tournament was in 1996 when they made it as a 12-seed, led by eventual NBA champion Malik Rose.MORE NEWS: First Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 Omicron Variant Reported In Philadelphia, New Jersey
And don’t forget, you can start getting your March Madness brackets ready this weekend. The bracket will be revealed on Selection Sunday starting at 6 p.m. right here on CBS3.