By Ryan Mayer
The first two days of the NCAA Tournament have provided us plenty of fantastic upsets, but Day 2 has provided us some of the wildest. After tournament favorite Michigan State went down to Middle Tennessee State earlier, your bracket was probably done. If not, then it’s definitely in flames now thanks to another party crasher: Stephen F Austin, who upset Bob Huggins’ West Virginia team 70-56.
Yes, you read that name correctly.
Stephen F Austin is a member of the Southland Conference and earned its automatic bid to the Big Dance after running the table in conference, going undefeated in both the regular season and winning the conference title game 82-60 over Texas A&M Corpus-Christi. That earned them the 14th seed in the eyes of the committee.
Now, you may remember this team for their distinctive purple jerseys, or for their upset of VCU in the first round of the 2014 tournament as a 12 seed. The Lumberjacks are now 2-3 in their NCAA Tournament history with other appearances coming in 2015, when they lost to Utah 57-50, and in 2009 when they fell to Syracuse 59-44 in the first round.
Their leading scorer is senior guard Thomas Walkup, who leads the team in points (17.5), rebounds (6.8) and assists (4.5) per game. Walkup was a member of the 2014 team who pulled the upset of VCU. The Lumberjacks feature two other players in double figures in guard Demetrious Floyd (13.8) and forward Clide Geffrard (13.4).
Stephen F Austin’s campus is located in Nacogdoches, Texas and was founded as a teacher’s college in 1923. It was named after one of the founding fathers of Texas.
Following their win, the Lumberjacks will face the winner of Notre Dame and Michigan on Sunday.
Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that’s where you’ll find him.