This past Saturday, the Binghamton University men’s basketball team shocked the entire America East Conference with their 78-72 upset win over Stony Brook.
The Bearcats, the tournament’s 7th seed, took down the second-seeded Seawolves in their own building.
BU became only the third seven-seed to ever beat a two-seed.
There was plenty of celebrating after the win for the entire Binghamton team, and for good reason.
This is only BU’s fourth appearance in the semifinals, and the last time they were here 10 years ago, they went on to win the conference championship.
This was a moment well in the making for head coach Tommy Dempsey, as he notched his first conference tournament win since taking over as head coach for the 2012-13 season.
His seniors also got their first taste of victory in the playoffs.
Dempsey, as well as J.C. Show and Caleb Stewart, talked about what that feeling was like getting to celebrate after the win.
“It was cold for me, it was cold. But, it was something. It was a moment that we’ve all been after, that we’ve worked hard for. So, we just enjoyed it,” Dempsey says.
“For us, as players, especially as seniors, it just means we live to play another day. We get to go play a game tomorrow. And that’s, you’re just fighting for your life, fighting for your season, fighting for our careers. It’s really rewarding when you’re able to come out on top, and we’re trying to do that again tomorrow,” said Show.
“I mean, like they both said, we get to play another day, we get to practice another day, we get to go get taped another day. We get to relive everything one more time. We get to play another game with these guys. So, it feels good,” forward Caleb Stewart said.
Dempsey and the Bearcats certainly aren’t taking the win for granted.
In fact, he had a message to his team before they practiced Monday morning, letting them know how fortunate they are to be in this position.
“I told the guys before practice this morning that a lot of teams don’t have practice today. We’re fortunate to have practice today, and be able to get ready to go into another hostile environment. It’s that time of year where as players and coaches, you want to be alive. You want to be playing these games, they mean so much. They’re so much fun. Getting ready for the games, embracing the opportunities playing in sold-out gyms. It’s what they trained for, it’s what we put all the time in to do. I’m just fired up to be able to do it again,” Dempsey added.
The #7 Bearcats and #1 Catamounts tip off at 7:00 pm on Tuesday night.
The winner will face the victor of the other semifinal game between #3 UMBC and #4 Hartford.