College Basketball Program Wins Conference Tournament But Won’t Compete In March Madness

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Getty Image / Scott Taetsch

Last night, Merrimack put the finishing touches on yet another successful season in the Northeast Conference.

This season, they won the conference’s regular season title for the 2nd time in just their 4th year as a Division 1 program.

The last team they accomplished this feat, the conference tournament was cancelled before they had their chance to try and a tournament title to their list of accomplishments for the season.

This year, they wouldn’t be stopped from doubling up.

They opened their NEC Tournament run with a dominant win over Long Island University. They followed it up with double-digit win over Sacred Heart.

Last night, they had their toughest test of the tournament when they took on Farleigh Dickinson in the title game.

FDU was the 3rd place finisher in the regular season and the best team in the conference that was eligible for March Madness.

Merrimack took home the title with a late free throw in closely-contested battle. Unfortunately, they didn’t get to claim the conference’s spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Instead, that will go to FDU because Merrimack is only in their 4th year as a Division 1 program.

Merrimack becomes the 2nd team in as many years to miss March Madness despite winning their conference tournament.

Last year it was Bellarmine that was kept out in spite of winning the A-Sun tournament.

The rule remains ridiculous, especially with Merrimack taking home both the regular season and conference tournament titles.

However, there is some good news for the program. With them claiming their second regular season title this year, they appear to building a program that will have plenty of chances to compete in March Madness in the future.

Luckily this nonsense is over after this year and Warriors will be eligible for the tournament next season.