PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team was in need of some good news Monday.
The news, as it turns out, couldn’t have been any better.
The Cardinals (22-5) not only received an at-large berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament, but will host a 4-team regional in a 62-team field Friday and Saturday at Memorial Hall.
Friday’s matchups will include Plattsburgh versus Massachusetts Institute of Technology (20-8), and Eastern Connecticut State (22-6) against Husson (26-2). The regional finals will take place on Saturday. Game times have yet to be announced.
“This is as good as it gets,” Plattsburgh coach Tom Curle said. “It’s the glory of sports. I used to hear about the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Last week wasn’t the best for us.
“This means so much to the players and coaches, and it’s a life-long lesson. We’re excited to be in the NCAA Tournament and to be a regional host. But we still have to perform.”
Last week was an incredible series of ups and downs for Plattsburgh.
After closing out their regular season with two wins, the Cardinals lost two of their starters going into this past weekend’s SUNY Athletic Conference Tournament at The College at Brockport.
Second-seeded Plattsburgh was able to pull out a gutty victory over Geneseo in the semifinals, but the short-handed Cardinals couldn’t hold a 19-point lead early in the second half against the top-seeded Golden Eagles and fell, 57-56.
Curle and his players went through an emotional rollercoaster over the two days and the trip home to Plattsburgh wasn’t an easy one.
“We were upset after the loss,” Plattsburgh senior standout John Perez said. “We’ve been given a second chance and it feels great to be home where we practice and work hard, and we won’t have bus legs.