On to the Next: The ‘Big Dance’ Continues for Men’s Basketball

Two weeks ago, there was uncertainty whether the Whitman men’s basketball would even make an appearance in this year’s postseason. Bowing out in the semi-finals of a conference tournament is hardly an ideal way to make a case for a spot in the national tournament, no less instill any kind of fear in potential opponents. But perhaps that is exactly why Whitman has continued its improbable and historic run; few outside of the team expected this.

Ironically, maybe the most expected storyline thus far for Whitman was its most recent matchup at Whitworth University.

In a game that saw eleven lead changes and a tied score five different times all in the second half, this barn burner was bound to end in spectacular fashion. Sophomore Christian McDonald made sure to deliver, scoring the winning basket with 2.6 seconds left to play. Both teams shot the exact same percentage from the floor, but Tim Howell’s game leading 32 points eventually helped lift Whitman just above the #2 team in the nation. After Saturday’s win, Whitman will now set its sights on a Sweet 16 matchup against No. 8 St. Thomas University.

St. Thomas is a team Whitman has seen before, early last season, where the Missionaries lost a hard-fought game at home. This time around, at a neutral location in Illinois, there is quite a bit more at stake. The teams stack up fairly evenly, but it can’t get much closer than the Whitworth matchup, a game that will go down in history for the program.

Whitman/St. Thomas will be available to stream online and will tip-off at 3:30 P.M. PST.