#1 NSU Falls at Buzzer in NCAA National Championship

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Heartbreaking. The only word to describe the ending of the top-ranked Nova Southeastern Sharks pursuit of back-to-back NCAA Division II National Championship. In a battle of the two highest ranked teams in Division II, NSU fell to the second-ranked Minnesota State, Mankato Mavericks 88-85 at the final buzzer on Saturday afternoon at the Ford Center.

Breakdown
Records: No. 1 Nova Southeastern 32-3 | No. 2 Minnesota State, Mankato 35-2
Score: No. 1 Nova Southeastern 85 | No. 2 Minnesota State, Mankato 88
Location: Ford Center | Evansville, IN.
Get Social: Instagram & X – NSU_MBasketball

How it Happened
First Half – The Sharks got off to a blazing start in the title game, opening the contest on a 12-2 run as Ryker Cisarik, MJ Iraldi, Isaiah Fuller and Ryan Walsh all contributed early. A few moments later, Cisarik knocked down his second three-pointer of the game, putting the Sharks ahead 15-7. Back-to-back buckets from Ryan Davis and Fuller extended NSU’s advantage to 19-9. The Mavericks cut the Nova Southeastern lead to five points after a pair of baskets from Dylan Peeters but Trey Doomes continued to hold MSU at bay with a made lay-up of his own, putting the score at 23-16. The Mavericks took their first lead of the game with less than seven minutes remaining in the half, as the score sat at 28-27 at the under eight media timeout. Both the Sharks and Mavericks traded baskets back-and-forth for the remainder of the half, but NSU went into halftime holding a 40-38 lead following another bucket from Doomes.

Second Half – Following the break, Minnesota State hit each of their first four shots and began the half on a 12-0 run, turning the tide in the game. The Mavericks continued to hold the momentum in the early minutes of the second half, taking a 59-49 lead over the Sharks. Midway through the second half, and trailing by double digits, Nova Southeastern rallied for a 13-0 run tying the game at 71-71 on a second-chance bucket by Iraldi. The final seven minutes of the title game were among the most competitive across all levels of collegiate basketball, as the top two teams in Division II traded baskets back-and-forth with the national championship in the balance. Iraldi scored eight consecutive points for the Sharks, giving NSU an 81-80 lead with 2:37 remaining. Trailing 85-83, Iraldi knocked down another clutch bucket for NSU with just over a minute left in the game. Minnesota State held the ball for the final possession and as the clock wound down on the game, with just one second left, the Mavericks hit the national championship winning three-pointer, ending the game 88-85.

What's Next
Nova Southeastern Men’s Basketball thanks the five Shark seniors – Isaiah Fuller, Mike Moore, Trey Doomes, GianFranco Grafals, and Shane Hunter – for their contributions to the program throughout their career. The NSU Men’s Basketball season has come to an end, over the last three seasons, Head Coach Jim Crutchfield has guided the Sharks to a 99-4 record, three Sunshine State Conference regular season and tournament titles, three NCAA South Region championships, three NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearances, a national finalist finish and the 2022-23 NCAA Division II National Championship.

To stay up-to-date on Sharks Men’s Basketball throughout the off-season, be sure to follow on Instagram & X at NSU_MBasketball.  
 

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#1 Sharks Take on #2 Mavericks for NCAA Championship

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – For the second consecutive season, the top-ranked Nova Southeastern Sharks Men’s Basketball team will compete for the NCAA Division II National Championship. NSU, the reigning champions, will take on the No. 2 Minnesota State, Mankato Mavericks on Thursday afternoon at the Ford Center. Both the Sharks and the Mavericks enter the NCAA Division II National Championship riding lengthy winning streaks; NSU has won 20 consecutive games, while Minnesota State has won each of their last 15 contests.

Under the direction of Head Coach Jim Crutchfield, the Nova Southeastern Sharks have become one of, if not the most, dominant programs across all levels of collegiate basketball. Over the past three seasons, NSU has accumulated a record of 99-3 (0.971 winning percentage), winning three Sunshine State Conference regular season and tournament titles, three NCAA South Region crowns, and the 2022-23 NCAA Division II National Championship.

Offensive prowess has been a staple of Crutchfield’s teams throughout his coaching career, but the story throughout the NCAA Tournament has been the Sharks tenacious defense. Since the beginning of the NCAA Tournament, NSU has held opponents to a combined 40% (127-313) from the field and has forced 91 turnovers. The Sharks picked up their effort in Evansville. Nova Southeastern forced 21 turnovers by Southern New Hampshire and held the Penmen to just six field goals – 18 points – in the second half of the Elite Eight match-up on Tuesday afternoon. In the national semifinal against Cal. State, San Bernardino, NSU limited the Coyotes to just 13 made field goals in the second half and forced 19 turnovers.

Nova Southeastern has also outscored their opponents by a combined 82 points during the NCAA Tournament.

HOW THEY GOT HERE
No. 1 Nova Southeastern | 32-2 | Sunshine State Conference Regular Season & Tournament Champions, NCAA South Region Champions
Entering the NCAA Division II National Championship on Saturday, the Nova Southeastern Sharks have won each of their last 11 NCAA tournament games.

Following a thrilling 17-point comeback to defeat seventh-seed Southern New Hampshire, where NSU claimed their first lead with less than seven minutes remaining, the Sharks found their groove against Cal. State – San Bernardino in the Final Four. Nova Southeastern trailed in the national semifinal for a total of 16 seconds and defeated CSUSB 91-77 on Thursday afternoon.

Five Sharks scored in double-digits in the win, with 24-points from Shane Hunter leading the way. Hunter and Ryker Cisarik combined for eight blocks, while NSU forced 19 turnovers by the Yotes. Isaiah Fuller, Ryan Davis, MJ Iraldi, Ryan Walsh and Hunter all totaled two steals.

Nova Southeastern enters the NCAA Division II National Championship leading the nation in scoring (100.4 ppg), scoring margin (+22), steals (474), steals-per-game (14.4), while also ranking second in fastbreak points (668), third in rebounds (1424), and fifth in assists (621).
 
 
No. 2 Minnesota State, Mankato | 34-2 | Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Regular Season & Tournament Champions, NCAA Central Region Champions
The Mavericks have enjoyed a 17-game improvement from their 2022-23 season and will play for the program’s first NCAA Division II National Championship. Minnesota State is led by the Willingham brothers, Malik and Kyreese. Malik Willingham has averaged 18.9 points throughout the 2023-24 campaign, while Kyreese, the younger of the two, has averaged 14.6 points.

Minnesota State handled eighth-seeded Ferris State 98-70 in the Elite Eight and defeated fourth-seeded West Texas A&M 78-72 in the national semifinal.

The Sharks pursuit of a second consecutive NCAA Division II National Championship will tip-off at 3 p.m. EDT and will be available on CBS, check your local listings. To stay up-to-date on NSU Men’s Basketball, be sure to follow on Instagram & X at NSU_MBasketball.
 

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#1 Sharks Advance to NCAA National Championship

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – For the second consecutive season, the top-ranked Nova Southeastern Sharks Men’s Basketball team will play in the NCAA Division II National Championship. The Sharks won their 20th consecutive game, defeating the sixth-seeded California State – San Bernardino Coyotes 91-77 in the national semifinal on Thursday afternoon at the Ford Center.

Shane Hunter made his presence felt throughout the game, scoring a team-high 24 points, grabbing seven rebounds and adding four blocks in the win. MJ Iraldi contributed 15 points, six assists and five rebounds, and Ryker Cisarik tallied 11 points, seven rebounds and four blocks, while Trey Doomes scored 12 points off the bench for NSU.

Nova Southeastern is the 20th top-ranked team in NCAA Division II history to reach the national championship game, 12 of 19 have won the national title – including NSU in 2022-23. The championship game will be the 16th match-up of two 30+ win teams.

Breakdown
Records: No. 1 Nova Southeastern 32-2 | No. 20 California State – San Bernardino 27-8
Score: No. 1 Nova Southeastern 91 | No. 20 California State – San Bernardino 77
Location: Ford Center | Evansville, Ind.
Get Social: Instagram & X – NSU_MBasketball

How it Happened
First Half – Shane Hunter and MJ Iraldi combined to score the first six points of the game for Nova Southeastern, giving NSU an early lead over the Yotes. Following a steal by Ryan Walsh, Mike Moore drilled a three-pointer and put Nova Southeastern ahead 17-10 in the first six minutes of the game. Hunter scored six consecutive points for the Sharks, extending the lead to 23-11 over CSUSB. Shortly after, Ryker Cisarik added a three-point bucket and Iraldi followed with a tough finish on an and-one opportunity, putting NSU in front 29-15. Later in the half, CSUSB cut the Nova Southeastern lead to just five, but six consecutive points from Isaiah Fuller gave the Sharks a 47-37 lead. NSU went into the halftime break with a 53-40 advantage over the Yotes.

Second Half – Early in the half, Trey Doomes added a bucket by putting back his own miss, pushing the NSU lead to 59-48. CSUSB responded with a 13-3 run, putting the score at 62-61, but back-to-back buckets from Cisarik and Isaiah Fuller gave the Sharks a 66-61 lead. Midway through the second half, NSU clung to a 68-63 lead. With less than six minutes remaining in the game, Doomes added another clutch bucket for NSU, off an assist from Fuller, pushing the Sharks lead to 76-65 over CSUSB. Doomes, Fuller, and Hunter combined to score 14 of the final 16 points for Nova Southeastern, sending the Sharks to the program’s second consecutive NCAA Division II National Championship game.

Shark Standouts
Shane Hunter: 24 points, seven rebounds, four blocks, 8-12 FT
MJ Iraldi: 15 points, six assists, five rebounds
Isaiah Fuller: 14 points, four assists, three rebounds
Trey Doomes: 12 points, three rebounds
Ryker Cisarik: 11 points, seven rebounds, four blocks, 2-3 3PT

What's Next
The top-ranked Sharks play for their second consecutive NCAA Division II National Championship on Saturday, March 30th, where they will take on the winner of the national semifinal between the top-seeded Minnesota State – Mankato Mavericks and the fourth-seeded West Texas A&M Buffs. The game will be broadcasted on CBS at 3 p.m. EDT, check your local listings. To stay up-to-date on NSU Men’s Basketball throughout their championship run, be sure to follow on Instagram & X at NSU_MBasketball.
 

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#1 NSU Faces #20 CSUSB in Final Four Rematch

EVANSVILLE, IN. – On the cusp of playing for their second consecutive NCAA Division II National Championship, the top-ranked Nova Southeastern Sharks Men’s Basketball team faces a familiar foe in the Final Four. The Sharks take on the California State, San Bernardino Coyotes in the Final Four, where the two teams faced off in last season’s national semifinals.

Entering the Final Four matchup, Nova Southeastern has won 19 consecutive games in the 2023-24 season and the Sharks have also won 10 consecutive NCAA Division II Championship tournament games since the 2022-23 season.

HOW THEY GOT HERE
No. 1 Nova Southeastern (31-2) | Sunshine State Conference Regular Season & Tournament Champions, NCAA South Region Champions
NSU overcame a 17-point deficit, the second largest in NCAA DII Elite Eight tournament history, defeating the seventh-seeded Southern New Hampshire Penmen 68-60 in the national quarterfinals on Tuesday afternoon.

The Sharks went into the halftime break trailing 42-28. Southern New Hampshire shot 60% as a team in the first half, while NSU totaled just eight field goals over the opening 20 minutes. Nova Southeastern flipped the script after the break, holding SNHU to just six made shots in the second half and 24% shooting.

Mike Moore and Trey Doomes combined for 20 points, off the bench, for the Sharks. Moore tied for the team lead with 11 points, while Doomes shot 50% from the field in the victory.

No. 20 California State, San Bernardino (27-7) | NCAA West Region Champions
The Yotes opened the NCAA Division II Elite Eight with a 99-65 over the third-seeded Gannon Knights on Tuesday afternoon.

Sedrick Altman led CSUSB with 37 points, making 13 shots and shooting 70% from beyond the arc, while LeAndrew Knight was nearly perfect from the field (12-13) and scoring 29 points. The Yotes scored the most points in Tuesday’s action in Evansville.

MATCHUP HISTORY
The Sharks and Yotes battled in the Final Four on the way to Nova Southeastern winning the program’s first NCAA Division II National Championship during the 2022-23 season. NSU defeated CSUSB 94-87, with all five of the Sharks starters – Jonathan Pierre (18), Kobe Rodgers (21), Dallas Graziani (13), RJ Sunahara (14), and Will Yoakum (18) – all scoring in double figures in the victory.

Nova Southeastern takes on CSUSB in the Final Four at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind., on Thursday, March 28th. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:07 p.m. EDT/1:07 p.m. CDT and the game can be viewed on CBS Sports Network (sign in using your television provider).

To stay up-to-date on Sharks Men’s Basketball throughout its’ championship run, be sure to follow on Instagram & X at NSU_MBasketball.

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#1 Sharks Complete Comeback, Advance to Final Four with win over SNHU

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Survive and Advance. The top-ranked Nova Southeastern Sharks Men’s Basketball team (second-seed) overcame a 17-point deficit and outlasted the seventh-seeded Southern New Hampshire Penmen 68-60 in the Elite Eight on Tuesday afternoon at the Ford Center. After trailing 42-28 at the half, NSU held SNHU to just 18 points in the second half, limiting the Penmen to just six made field goals (6-25/24%) in the second half. 

Nova Southeastern has won 10 consecutive NCAA Tournament games, dating back to the 2022-23 season and is currently riding a 19-game winning streak.

Breakdown
Records: (2) No. 1 Nova Southeastern 31-2 | (7) Southern New Hampshire 24-11
Score: (2) No.1 Nova Southeastern 68 | (7) Southern New Hampshire 60
Location: Ford Center | Evansville, Ind.
Get Social: Instagram & X – NSU_MBasketball

How it Happened
First Half – SNHU began the game on an 8-1 run, as NSU missed each of its first seven field goal attempts. The Sharks continued to trail throughout much of the opening half and midway through NSU faced a 22-11 deficit. Ryan Davis put back a second chance opportunity, which was followed by another bucket from Ryker Cisarik, putting the score within one possession as the Sharks trailed 22-19. Nova Southeastern was unable to take the lead in the first half, as the Penmen closed the half on a 20-9 run, putting the score at 42-28 at the break.  

Second Half – Trailing 47-31 early in the second half, Trey Doomes kick-started an 11-0 run for the Sharks putting the score at 47-42. Cisarik knocked down a three-point bucket for NSU, cutting the Penmen lead to 49-45 with under 13 minutes remaining in the game. The Sharks continued to show their resiliency and tied the game at 54-54 following a clutch three-pointer from Cisarik. MJ Iraldi gave Nova Southeastern their first lead in the contest, knocking down a pair of free throws, giving NSU a 56-54 advantage. With less than four minutes left in the game, Doomes finished off an and-one opportunity and put the score at 59-56 in favor of the Sharks. Nova Southeastern put the game away at the free throw line as Shane Hunter and Isaiah Fuller scored the final eight points for the Sharks, advancing NSU to the Final Four for the second consecutive season.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
NSU forced 21 turnovers by Southern New Hampshire and outscored the Penmen 27-5 off of turnovers.
Mike Moore (11 points) and Trey Doomes (9) combined to score 20-points off the bench for the Sharks. NSU’s reserve unit outscored the Penmen’s 31-17.
The 17-point comeback by Nova Southeastern is the second largest in the history of the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.
 
Coach's Corner
Head Coach Jim Crutchfield – Southern New Hampshire is a very well coached team and came into the game with a good game plan to win. I liked our effort. When all else fails, sometimes you just have to play harder, and our guys did just that.

How it Happened
No. 1 Nova Southeastern faces sixth-seeded California State San Bernardino Coyotes – in a rematch of last season’s Final Four – with a spot in the NCAA Division II National Championship on the line on Thursday, March 28th. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. EST and the game will be available on CBS Sports Network. To stay up-to-date on Sharks Men’s Basketball throughout their championship run, be sure to follow on Instagram & X at NSU_MBasketball.
 

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#1 Sharks Set to take on Penmen in Elite Eight

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The NCAA Division II Elite Eight will tip-off on Tuesday afternoon at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana, where the No. 1 Nova Southeastern Sharks Men’s Basketball program capped off the sixth undefeated, national championship season in NCAA Division II history last year. This season, just three wins away from repeating as national title winners, the Sharks will take on the seventh-seeded Southern New Hampshire Penmen.

HOW THEY GOT HERE
No. 1 Nova Southeastern (30-2) | Sunshine State Conference Regular Season & Tournament Champions, NCAA South Regional Champions
The Sharks are beginning to make Evansville a “home away from home;” For the program’s fourth consecutive season under Head Coach Jim Crutchfield, Nova Southeastern has advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight as the representatives from the South Region.

NSU has been the most dominant program in the country the last three years, accumulating a 97-3 record, winning three Sunshine State Conference regular season crowns, three SSC tournament championships, three NCAA South Region titles, and won the national championship in the 2022-23 season.

Nova Southeastern enters the Elite Eight on an 18-game winning streak and off a dominant performance in the NCAA South Region Tournament. The Sharks dismantled Sunshine State Conference rival Florida Southern in the regional championship, defeating FSC 98-66.

MJ Iraldi paced Nova Southeastern throughout the South Region Tournament, averaging 14.7 points-per-game, while shooting at a 55% clip in the three games.
NSU leads Division II in scoring, averaging 102.1, as well as scoring margin, holding opponents to 78.6 points-per-game.

Despite losing all five members of last season’s title winning lineup, two starters for the Sharks, Ryker Cisarik (Black Hills State) and Isaiah Fuller (Missouri-St. Louis) both bring Elite Eight experience into the lineup.

Southern New Hampshire (24-10) | NE10 Tournament Champions, NCAA East Region Champions
The Penmen clinched the program’s eighth trip, the first since 2014-15, to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight by defeating Saint Michael’s College, the East region’s top-seed, 73-61 and closed the title match on a 17-0 run.

Southern New Hampshire enters Evansville on a 10-game winning streak, including seven consecutive postseason wins, which is the most in program history.
Entering the Elite Eight, the Penmen are averaging 76.6 points-per-game and feature five players scoring in double figures throughout the season. Matt Becht has led Southern New Hampshire throughout the season, averaging 16.4 points, and is shooting at a 43/45/89 clip.

The Elite Eight will tip-off at 3:30 p.m. EDT at the Ford Center. To stay up-to-date on Sharks Men’s Basketball throughout their championship run, be sure to follow on Instagram & X at NSU_MBasketball.

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Hunter Named to NABC All-South District Team

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) announced the 2023-24 Division II All-District Teams and District Coaches of the Year on Monday afternoon. Shane Hunter, who also earned Sunshine State Conference and D2CCA All-South Region first-team honors, was named to the NABC All-South District First-Team. 

Hunter has led the No. 1 Nova Southeastern Sharks Men’s Basketball program to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the third consecutive season. The senior is the only Sharks Men’s Basketball student-athlete to start all 32 games during the 2023-24 campaign and he leads NSU in points (506) points-per-game (15.8), rebounds (212), rebounds-per-game (6.6), and blocks (64). 

Hunter scored at least 20-points six times throughout the 2023-24 season and tallied four double-doubles. During the NCAA South Region Tournament, Hunter averaged 13.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and totaled eight blocks. 

Hunter and the No. 1 Nova Southeastern Sharks will play seventh-seeded Southern New Hampshire in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in Evansville, Ind., on Tuesday, March 26th. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. EST. To stay up-to-date on Sharks Men’s Basketball throughout the NCAA Elite Eight, be sure to follow on Instagram & X at NSU_MBasketball. 
 

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ELITE AGAIN! #1 Sharks Punch Ticket to Elite Eight

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – For the fourth time in program history, the No. 1 Nova Southeastern Sharks Men’s Basketball team has punched its ticket to the Elite Eight in Evansville, Indiana, defeating Sunshine State Conference rival Florida Southern 98-66 in the NCAA South Region Championship at the Rick Case Arena on Tuesday evening.

Shane Hunter (Most Valuable Player) and MJ Iraldi were named to the All-South Region Tournament team.

The Sharks have won 64 consecutive games at the Rick Case Arena, dating back to February 2020.

Breakdown
Records: (1) No. 1 Nova Southeastern 30-2 |(3) Florida Southern 23-10
Score: (1) No. 1 Nova Southeastern 98 | (3) Florida Southern 66
Location: Rick Case Arena | Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Get Social: Instagram & X – NSU_MBasketball

How it Happened
First Half – The third match-up between the Sharks and Mocs lived up to its competitive billing early on, as the Sunshine State rivals traded baskets back-and-forth in the opening minutes. Following a three-pointer from Mike Moore, Trey Doomes recorded back-to-back buckets putting the Sharks ahead 15-11. A few moments later, Isaiah Fuller added four consecutive points for NSU, extending the lead to 23-15. Midway through the first half, Alex Mangold put the Sharks in front 27-21 following a fast-break dunk, off an assist from Moore. Moore extended the Nova Southeastern lead to 40-29, finishing off a four-point play, after draining a three-pointer and getting fouled. In the closing seconds of the half, Fuller sent the Sharks into the break leading 50-39, beating the buzzer with a pull-up jumper.

Second Half – Following the break, Ryan Davis recorded the first four points of the second half for the Sharks, while also adding a steal, extending NSU’s lead to 54-39. Later in the half, following another steal from Davis, Ryker Cisarik added a dunk, putting the Sharks ahead 66-52. MJ Iraldi netted a three-point bucket, extending the lead to 69-52, and making it out of reach for the Mocs. Doomes tallied five straight points for NSU, as the Sharks continued to stretch their lead and pull away from Florida Southern, with a 76-54 lead. As the clock wound down, the Sharks continued to maintain their advantage. Tommy Sala tallied the final five points for NSU, as Nova Southeastern punched the program’s fourth trip in program history to Evansville for the Elite Eight.

Shark Standouts
MJ Iraldi: 15 points, six rebounds, 6-10 FG
Shane Hunter: 14 points, five blocks, five rebounds
Trey Doomes: 19 points, 9-12 FG, six rebounds, two steals

All-Tournament Team
Shane Hunter, Nova Southeastern (MVP)
MJ Iraldi, Nova Southeastern

Akol Arop, Florida Southern
Luke Anderson, Florida Southern
Malcolm Whitlow, Embry-Riddle
Zawdie Jackson, West Georgia

Coach's Corner
Head Coach Jim Crutchfield – “These guys just continue to surprise me. They’ve really been a fun bunch to coach and be around. That was a really great team win. They finished the regular season strong, played well in the Sunshine State Conference tournament, and now picked it up a notch in regional play. Let’s go to Evansville!”

What's Next
No. 1 Nova Southeastern advanced to the Elite Eight, in Evansville, Ind. The Sharks next opponent will be determined following a re-seeding of the Regional Champions. To stay-up-to-date on Sharks Men’s Basketball, be sure to follow on Instagram and X at NSU_MBasketball.
 

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#1 Sharks Take on Florida Southern for NCAA South Region Title

Iraldi

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – How sweet it is. For the fourth consecutive season, the top-ranked Nova Southeastern Sharks Men’s Basketball team will play in the NCAA South Region Championship with a spot in the Elite Eight on the line. The Sharks (29-2) will face a familiar foe, taking on Sunshine State Conference rival Florida Southern (23-9) on Tuesday evening at the Rick Case Arena.Source