Led by star forward Jameel Warney, the Stony Brook Seawolves look to eradicate a history of tribulations in the NCAA Tournament tonight.
By Justin Weiss
Jameel Warney finally has his chance, and Jameel Warney wants it bad.
The Stony Brook senior — who tallied a career-high 43 points last week in the America East Tournament Championship Game — finally has the opportunity to partake in the Big Dance after years and years of coming oh-so close.
After three years of improbable heartbreak, the Seawolves and their superstar forward have earned their first tourney bid in school history.
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While SBU has been consistent with their regular season success, they’ve been extremely inconsistent in the America East Tournament — where they’ve thrice been eliminated in the past three years.
In 2010, the Seawolves were the number one seed in their conference tournament, before the refs called a foul with two seconds left in the championship game and their opponent, Boston University, sank both free throws to advance to the NCAA Tournament.
In 2012, Stony Brook got obliterated by Vermont in the America East Championship Game on their home court.
In 2013, SBU was the top seed in their conference tourney, but lost to Albany in the second round by surrendering a heartbreaking game-winning layup with 2.4 seconds to go.
In 2014, Stony Brook was in the championship game — again, but lost to Albany — again.
In 2015, the Seawolves led late in the Championship game, but missed a crucial shot from the charity stripe with less than a minute remaining before Albany — needing a double to tie up the game — had a missed shot role to the three-point line where a Great Dane hit a game winning three.
In short, the Stony Brook Seawolves have been the most depressing team in NCAA history over the past six years. For a team yearning for their first tournament bid, the past six years have been utterly brutal.
Warney, who has averaged a double-double this season and set a school record for points in a single game, is ready to eradicate SBU’s abysmal basketball track record with a win over Kentucky tonight.
In the potential waning 16 minutes of his career, Warney scored 23 points on 11-for-11 shooting in one of the most dominant performances in NCAA history. While his teammates got thoroughly outmuscled by their Vermont foes, Warney silenced the opposition’s band and took over the game — something he has done a lot of from December to February (he averaged 19.8 points per game on 63.7 percent shooting in that span).
WATCH THIS! ?
All 4⃣3⃣ points from @StonyBrookMBB senior @Fullcoursemeelz in the #AEPlayoffs title game!!
— America East (@AmericaEast) March 16, 2016
While the ‘Wolves will face one of the better teams in the country tonight, Jameel Warney looks to spoil everyone’s brackets by pulling off an upset victory. If SBU wishes to win their first tournament game ever tonight, they’re going to need another spectacular performance from their star forward.
Warney is ready. The time (9:30 PM EST) is now.