FORT MYERS, Fla.- The FSW Men's & Women's Basketball teams rolled through their respective regular seasons, leaving a trail of destruction for their 2018-19 opponents. Both teams went undefeated in conference play to capture league titles and both worked their ways to the top national rankings in program history. Unfortunately, the two both fell short to quality foes in the FCSAA State Tournament, which set up our #6 moments of the FSW Athletics year.
It was a grueling three day wait for the FSW Basketball teams to see if they would be selected as one of eight at-larges for the National Tournament after losses in the FCSAA State Semifinals. The men felt pretty comfortable of their chances after spending the final five weeks of the regular season at #1 in the NJCAA poll, but the FSW women were as squarely on the bubble as you could possibly be, fighting both a loaded group of potential bid takers and an NJCAA rule restricting the number of bids from one region.
With a group of their most loyal fans alongside them in Suncoast Credit Union Arena, the two teams watched the NJCAA selection show together on the arena floor where they had already made so many magical memories happen during the season. The ladies were first and they didn't have to wait long as the Bucs were announced as the #17 seed and the first at-large off the board to send the team and their fans into a frenzy, giving them their first trip to the NJCAA National Tournament in Lubbock, Texas. The men's show was next and after waiting and patiently watching, Captain Blackbeard's mugshot popped into the bracket as the #5 seed, giving them their second straight trip to the Big Dance.
Both teams played exciting games at the National Tournament, each going 1-1 during their stays. The FSW Women built a huge lead in their first contest against Cochise before hanging on late for a one point win. They did the opposite in their second game, roaring back late to put a scare in #1 Wabash Valley before losing by three at the buzzer to finish 9th. After receiving a first round bye, the FSW Men dispatched perennial power Indian Hills in the second round to advance to the quarterfinals where they played a back and forth affair with Coffeyville before falling by one in overtime to finish 5th in the tournament.
We will continue our countdown next week with another first for an FSW program, which took all the way to the final day of the regular season to make it happen.
#5- Revealed July 15th
#4- Revealed July 16th
#3- Revealed July 17th
#2- Revealed July 18th
#1- Revealed July 19th