The most exciting and surprising week of intramural basketball took place over the last five days at Huntington Gym, and fittingly enough it occurred during the first week of playoff action.
All of the heart pounding play in Division I came from the lower-half of the bracket, where the second and third seeds fell in their quarterfinal games.
The sixth-seeded Great Colgate Ballers advanced to semifinal play last Thursday night after two nitty-gritty wins in the first two rounds of the playoffs. After a physical 41-36 victory on Sunday over the 11th-seeded Hard Hats, the Ballers met Brothers A on Tuesday night. Despite being highly favored before the game, the Brothers A squad lacked the inside strength to compete with the more athletic Ballers, losing 50-44.
The other lower seed still alive in this half of the bracket, the seventh-seeded LNA Pound R’s, were equally as impressive in their first two rounds of play. On Sunday, the Pound R’s ran over a decimated Phi Delta Theta (Phi Delt) team, which was missing its best player, senior forward Jim Marusich. The Pound R’s escaped the first round by defeating tenth-seeded Phi Delt, 69-30.
On Tuesday night, at the same time as the Great Colgate Ballers were upsetting Brothers A, the LNA Pound R’s shocked a second-seeded Just Four Fit team, 37-35. The back-and-forth battle was ultimately decided at the charity stripe, as Just Four Fit had two free-throw attempts to tie the game with no time on the clock but missed both, allowing the Pound R’s to play the Ballers on Thursday night.
In the top half of the bracket, an intra-house match-up was set for Thursday night as both Delta Upsilon (DU) A and DU B advanced to the semifinals.
DU A had the easiest road to the semifinals out of the four teams still left in the Division I Tournament. After a perfect 5-0 regular season in League A, DU A earned a first round bye before defeating eighth-seeded Beta Theta Pi, 57-27 on Tuesday.
The most dominant team in the Division I Tournament to this point has been DU B. The undefeated League B champion trounced Brother 2 Brother and Phi Kappa Tau by a combined score of 109-66 last week to advance to Thursday’s semifinals.
The surprise team in the Division II Tournament, the seventh-seeded Townhausers team, was the beneficiary this week of two forfeits by the Spartans and the Jewce is Loose. The two forfeit victories gave the Townhausers more victories in the playoffs than they had all season.
In the semifinals on Thursday, the Townhausers were set to meet the Blazers, who held off an amazing Cobra Chi B comeback on Tuesday night to advance to the latter half of the tournament. Trailing 44-34 with four minutes left, Cobra Chi B stormed on an 11-0 run, highlighted by junior Billy Archer’s back-to-back three-pointers, to take a 45-44 lead. Somehow, the Blazers managed to inbound the ball from underneath their own basket and go from baseline to baseline, scoring a buzzer-beating lay-up to deal Cobra Chi B a heart-wrenching 46-45 loss.
The top half of the Division II bracket has seen no upsets through Wednesday. Top-seeded $11.49 put together a late second-half run on Tuesday to hold off the Diabeatings’ best effort of the season with sensational three-point shooting, leaving Huntington Gymnasium with a hard-earned 51-42 win.
Fourth-seeded Old School advanced to play $11.49 on Thursday after a dominant 64-40 win over the Dave Reiners. The depleted, track-and-field team was no match for the experience of the staff and faculty of Old School.