Phi Tau Beats Sigma Chi for D-I IM B-Ball Title

Max Troper

In the year of the upset, the men’s intramural basketball league delivered in fine fashion. Clear Division I favorite LNA, who went undefeated in the regular season, easily ran through opponents all the way to the Final Four. What happened next was unexpected. Behind an MVP-like performance from senior Paul Jermak, Sigma Chi battled from a 10-point deficit to defeat the number one seed, 33-31.

“It was really a team effort, with the young guys like the Smiths (Peter and Larry, no relation) stepping up and seasoned veterans like Rogo having solid games,” Jermak remarked.

LNA went on a cold streak in the second half when they went through a five-minute drought without hitting a field-goal. Jermak credits the team’s defense-first mentality for its success this season. The upset is the biggest one on the hardwood since Clifford the Big Red Dawgz title run a year ago. On the other side of the bracket, Phi Tau defeated Old School in a game closer than the 45-37 score would indicate. Old School, comprised of the university’s professors and staff members, is known for playing very physical defense and lived up to their reputation by harassing the Phi Tau players throughout the game.

In the finals, Phi Tau and Sigma Chi went neck and neck until the very end. Phi Tau pulled ahead with less than three minutes left and never looked back, defeating Sigma 45-40. Senior Brendan Clegg was unstoppable, hitting fadeaway jump shot after jump shot and classmate Kevin Tarrant was far too clutch in crunch time. He was a viable three-point option and sealed the victory for Phi Tau with several clutch free throws. On the losing side, Jermak put a positive spin on the season.

“I am so proud of these guys and the fight they put up all year. It really means a lot to me as a graduating senior that my team left it all out on the court.”

Junior Matt Rogowski and sophomore Alex Weekes had big games for the losing side.

In Division II, the CCF team “Sack Lunch”, led by the sophomore Kevin “Kareem” McCrary, defeated Cutten 39-37 in a semifinal squeaker. Cutten, which was named Curtis last year, has now reached the Division II Final Four for two years in a row. In the other semifinal, the Ninja Warriors waxed This is Austin, 46-19. The first-year squad This is Austin should not be disappointed, as they won the Division II Soccer title earlier in the year.

In the finals, the Ninja Warriors were relentless, battling back from an eight-point deficit with over two minutes to go in the game to defeat Sack Lunch, 42-37. Sack Lunch had a sizable lead for more than half of the game, but that changed with a new strategy by the Warriors. Deciding to play press defense, Sack Lunch was unable to move the ball and the Ninja Warriors were rewarded with many easy buckets.

One can see how competitive the intramural leagues at Colgate are becoming, as any team can win any game at any given time. There is no such thing as a clear-cut favorite any more. After seeing upsets such as the Giants over the Patriots or Appalachian State over Michigan, it is apparent that the underdog is overcoming odds on all levels of athletics.