It’s not even March Madness yet and we might already have a favorite Cinderella team.
The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks have gone on an improbable run in the Big Sky Conference. So much so, they’re one win away from making the big dance.
Now, there are a lot of teams in a similar situation. However, Northern Arizona finds themselves in a position nobody saw coming. The reason being, they finished the regular season with a 9-22 record.
Northern Arizona has won three DI games in a row for the first time since 2020 (!!) to make the Big Sky Championship for the first time since 2008.
From 9-22 in the regular season to one win away from the NCAA Tournament.
— Cooper Watson (@coopertwatson) March 8, 2023
This three-game win streak isn’t really a normal thing for this program. First, they beat Idaho to earn a spot in the Big Sky Tournament.
Then, of course, the Lumberjacks backed that up with a massive upset win by taking down the number one seed Eastern Washington with a shot at the buzzer.
NORTHERN ARIZONA BIG SKY ONIONS 🏀🧅🧅🧅 pic.twitter.com/qrUim1bLLC
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) March 6, 2023
Northern Arizona kept their tourney hopes alive by taking it to Montana, earning a solid 83-71 win. This victory earned the Lumberjacks the bid to play for the Big Sky Championship.
FINAL: Northern Arizona 83, Montana 71
The No. 9 Lumberjacks are going to the 'ship as the story of the tournament continues. NAU was 9-22 in the regular season.
28 for Jalen Cone, 14 and 9 for Carson Towt, 14 and 8 for Xavier Fuller, who also defended Aanen Moody. pic.twitter.com/flZeBrgBwz
— Andrew Houghton (@AndrewH202) March 8, 2023
We all love a good Cinderella story when it comes to March Madness, but this is just insane. The Lumberjacks are set to take on Montana State, where the winner earns a tourney bid.
You can catch the game on ESPN 2 or ESPN+ at 11:30 p.m. Eastern.