Tigers Head for NCAA Tourney
The Occidental men’s basketball team clinched the conference championship and its third trip to the NCAA tourney in five years Thursday night with a thrilling, last-second double overtime victory at Whittier, 63-61.
With the game tied at 61 and just 7 seconds on the clock, junior guard Connor Whitman stole the ball as Whittier was inbounding and passed it to junior forward Chris Pitcher, who hit an 18-footer with less than 2 seconds to spare. A mid-court desperation shot from the never-say-die Poets, who won just three SCIAC games this season, clanged off the rim but failed to drop.
The Tigers, ranked No. 19 this week by D3hoops.com, finished conference play with a 12-2 record, 19-5 overall. They now advance to the NCAA Division III playoffs for the second consecutive year. Playoff brackets are scheduled to be released at approximately 9 a.m. EST on Monday, Feb. 26.