Men's basketball reflects on first postseason win in 15 years
For the first time in 15 years, the Central Michigan men’s basketball team won a postseason game.
In the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, the Chippewas (20-14) took down Fort Wayne, 94-89, to advance to the quarterfinals which will be played March 22-25.
It was CMU's first win in a postseason game since 2003. In that season, the Chippewas defeated Creighton, 79-73, in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament’s First Round.
Head coach Keno Davis, who has never made the NCAA Tournament at CMU, said the win meant a lot to the program.
"I'm really excited about where the program is heading, with as much as we've won since I've been here I think our best basketball is still in front of us," Davis said. "I still want this season to continue as far as we can take it because this team deserves every opportunity.”
While it has been over a decade since CMU has won a postseason game, they did compete in the 2016 CIT. The Chippewas fell 76-73 to Tennessee-Martin in the first round.
Sophomore forward David DiLeo said the win reflects how far the team has come this year.
“I think we lost a good amount of close games during the season and that was something we had to learn from, even if it was the hard way,” DiLeo said. “We’ve stuck to the process and it’s a testament to how hard everyone has worked this season.”
Senior forward Luke Meyer, who hit the game-winning 3-pointer with just over a minute to play, said it felt good to have this win under his belt.
“This was my last chance to do it, because it’s lose and go home which definitely adds more pressure,” Meyer said. “I’m just happy that I have extended my college playing career to at least one more game."
The win isn't just big for the senior class, but for the experience of the underclassmen, Davis said.
“We try as coaches and players to not look ahead, but I think it’s pretty well known from our fans and everyone that we can make another jump next season,” Davis said. “With the key pieces we have returning in a Kevin McKay and David DiLeo and the jumps they made, there’s no reason our incoming and current players can’t do that.”
The Chippewas don't know the exact date of their next game in the CIT. The quarterfinal rounds are set for March 22-25.