Men’s basketball makes first appearance in NCAA tournament
The Newman University Men’s Basketball Team won its first-ever berth to the Division II Men’s NCAA Tournament.
The Jets finished second in the Heartland Conference at 9-5, with an overall 20-7 record that reflected the most wins since Newman joined the NCAA Division II in 2008. Although the Jets lost 81-60 in tournament play to the Midwestern State University Mustangs, the accomplishment of making it to the tourney was still significant.
“It was a dream come true,” said Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mark Potter. “To be able to make it to the NCAA tournament was an incredible journey. Nobody can ever take those memories away. It was truly a magical year.”
Under Potter, the Jets entered the tournament as the No. 5 seed in the South Central Region. During the season, Newman was ranked in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Top 25 for the first time, moving as high as No. 14 in the Jets’ five appearances in the poll. The Jets also knocked off No. 2 Washburn University 86-69, which is the highest-ranked opponent Newman has defeated since joining Division II. For these and other accomplishments, Potter was named the Heartland Conference Coach of the Year.
“Being recognized as Coach of the Year is a direct reflection on the players as well as the staff,” Potter said. “It was a great honor to receive, but the award really should go to the team and all the coaches. I’m just proud that every honor received gives Newman more publicity.”