Cougars Secure Spot at NCAA Tournament
The College of Charleston Cougars will soon be on a national stage, and they couldn’t be happier, nor has a team worked harder for it. On Tuesday, March 7, 2023, the Cougars defeated the University of North Carolina-Wilmington 63-58 to win the 2023 Jersey Mike’s CAA Men’s Basketball Championship in Washington, D.C., and clinch an automatic spot in the NCAA Tournament.
With March Madness around the corner, fans and sports bettors alike will be gearing up to see which teams will make it to the playoffs. They will be waiting with bated breath for it all to begin, scouring sports betting review sites to find the sportsbook with the best NCAA odds, such as FezBet Review and Cougar fans must be thrilled that their team has made it because 2018 was the last time the Cougars appeared in the NCAA tournament.
How did they do it? With grit and determination. Getting into the tournament was always the end goal, according to senior player Ryan Larson. He led the team to victory with 23 points and four steals, and sophomore Ante Brzovic added 16 points and eight rebounds.
The Cougars won the game, with the fans screaming “our city” as the final buzzer sounded, giving them their 31st victory overall and making them the first men’s basketball team in NCAA Division I to surpass 30 victories this season.
This was a very special win for the entire team, and Larson said that for many of them, it went beyond basketball. Coach Pat Kelsey called them the toughest team in the country. When the NCAA Tournament brackets are made public on Sunday, March 12, 2023, Charleston will find out who their first-round opponent is.
Dayton, Ohio, is where the First Four games are being held, with the Final Four for 2023 ending up in Houston.
The scheduled dates are as follows:
- March 12: Selection Sunday
- March 14-15: First Four
- March 16-17: First Round
- March 18-19: Second Round
- March 23-24: Sweet 16
- March 25-26: Elite Eight
- April 1: Final Four
- April 3: NCAA Championship Game
Players To Look Out For
When putting together a successful Division I basketball team, management and coaches use different methods. With the Cougars clinching a spot after five long years and currently being the favorites to win, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the more notable players. Pat Kelsey, who has almost 12 years of experience when it comes to running collegiate basketball programmes, and is the head coach of the College of Charleston Cougars, thinks it all boils down to team chemistry.
The athletes who play regular minutes for Kelsey’s team are crucial components that contribute to that chemistry. So we thought it would be fun to have a roster-style look at those guys, along with what the coaching staff believes each one will be doing in ten years:
- Dalton Bolon
Hailing from Gnadenhutten, Ohio, Bolon is a communications student whose position is guard-forward. His teammates know him as “Psycho D,” and he is known for his energy and strength when playing. His personal best was against North Greenville University, where he scored 22 points on 12/11/22. The coaching staff think that in ten years’ time, he will be traveling the countryside by bike.
- Ante Brzovic
Brzovic comes from Zagreb, Croatia and is a political science major who plays a forward position. He’s known as Tae to his teammates, and his top strength is scoring in the post. The highlight of his career so far has been scoring 15 points against Va. Tech in the Charleston Classic finale on 11/20/22. Most people think he will end up becoming a politician down the road.
- Ben Burnham
Burnham was born and raised in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and is a sophomore who has yet to decide on his major. He plays forward and is known for his scoring ability. His career highlight so far has been a put-back monster dunk on 7th January this year against Delaware University. In the future, most of his friends and family think he will pursue a career as an actor.
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