UWSP men’s basketball looks to secure NCAA Tournament bid
By John Kemmeter
After finishing second in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) this season, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) men’s basketball team will try to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament at the WIAC Tournament this weekend.
The 23rd-ranked Pointers (17-8, 11-3) had a chance to earn a share of the WIAC Regular Season Title but fell 55-54 at UW-Eau Claire (12-13, 4-10) in the regular-season finale Saturday, Feb. 17, and enter the Conference Tournament this week as the second seed.
UWSP received an opening-round bye and will host a WIAC Semifinal at Bennett Court at Quandt Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, against either 19th-ranked and third-seeded UW-Oshkosh (19-6, 9-5), fourth-seeded UW-River Falls (16-8, 7-7) or fifth-seeded UW-Whitewater (16-9, 6-8).
“It was a very painful loss,” said Semling of the regular-season finale. “I’ve been doing this a long time, and that might rank up there as one of the most heart-breaking and painful losses.
“It definitely is in the Top 10, and it might be in the Top 5, just because of what these guys have put into this over seven weeks, how hard they’ve worked and how badly they wanted to get at least a share of the Regular Season Title,” he said. “Now we have to bounce back and we can’t allow it to affect us in any way going forward, we have to find the good in it to make it bring out the best in us in this week with the WIAC Tournament, winning a WIAC Tournament Title and an AQ into the NCAA Tournament.”
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