The St. Francis University Red Flash have won the NEC (Northeast Conference) Tournament automatically qualifying for the NCAA Tournament where as a sixteenth seed, we will play the UConn Women in the first round. My alma mater will succeed in scoring the biggest upset in athletic history.
Now before you accuse me of smoking weed before Connecticut has legalized it, hear me out. Even though our undergraduate enrollment is slightly larger than the number of trainers the Huskies employ, St. Francis University has a proud basketball tradition.
Nestled in the foothills of western Pennsylvania in the small town of Loretto, St. Francis produced Maurice Stokes, the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1956. Norm Van Lier and Kevin Porter became NBA stars. Bonnie Kleinschuster shot 90% from the foul line in the 1978 season, a record no male has matched. Mike Iuzzolino lit up the NBA with his deadly three-point shooting in the early 1990s.
Skeptics will point out that the Red Flash encountered the Huskies in the NCAA tournament in 1999 and 2002 and lost both games by around fifty points. They will further point out that the Huskies are undefeated and blow out opponents so quickly that even hard core fans switch to Netflix ten minutes into the first quarter. Fivethirtyeight.com gives the Red Flash little chance of winning and the Huskies a 65% of winning the tournament. But these were the same wizards who gave Donald Trump a 1% chance of becoming president. How did that work out?
Our team is peaking. Led by the ferocious Jessica Kovatch, we are on a roll, winning our last eight games and finishing the season with an impressive 24 – 9 record. Kovatch is the second highest scorer in the country, averaging 25 points a game. Power forward Ace Harrison along with our 6’ 4” center Courtney Zeppa will be crashing the boards. The Huskies will have their hands full.
As hard as it is for my readers to believe, there is an outside chance I could be wrong. It does happen. Just ask my wife. But the Red Flash will be able to tell their children and grandchildren that they walked onto the court with stars such as Kia Nurse, Gabby Williams and Katie Lou Samuelson; and played their hearts out. And should the game become a blow out, Coach Joe Haigh – a great guy and personal friend – will give all the Red Flash on the bench an opportunity to play against this legendary team.
And should the Huskies defeat the Red Flash, their chance of winning the tournament is not 65% as posited by Fivethirtyeight.com. It is 100%.