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March 7, 2014

Back in NCAA tournament for first time in four years, Gordon men's hoop is ready to go

WENHAM — It doesn’t matter what division you’re talking about; when it comes to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, everybody loves an upset.

The Gordon College men’s basketball team has all the makings of a Cinderella story when it travels to Williamstown tonight to square off against second-seeded Babson (20-6) in the NCAA Division 3 first round game at Williams College (6 p.m.). It is the program’s third-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament.

First, the Fighting Scots have five strong seniors who’ve been playing together for quite some time. Second, Gordon has tons of momentum after finally reachings its true potential in the second half of the Commonwealth Coast Conference Championship game, rallying from a 17-point deficit with just 10 minutes left to defeat Nichols.

“I don’t know if we had that successful of a year, but we certainly had a successful end to the season,” said Gordon (17-10) head coach Tod Murphy, who went to the NCAAs in his first year at the school in 2009-10. “We’ve always been a team that tries to peak at the right time — and I think that’s what we’ve done. We’ve showed people what we’re capable of doing, especially in the last 10 minutes against Nichols.”

Park Thomas, Alex Carnes, Roy Ray, Luke Hamilton and Shaun Roach are the team’s five seniors, the first group that Murphy himself brought in to Gordon. In the four years that quintet has grown very close, so as the hole got deeper and deeper against Nichols last Saturday, the Fighting Scots were able to rely on each other to dig themselves out.

And as shocking as coming back from 17 points down in just 10 minutes is, Gordon is thinking it’s got an even bigger shock in store for Babson.

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