Throwback Thursday

The University of Maine Men’s Basketball team picked up just their fourth win of the season last night with a 68-60 victory at UNH. While the players continue to give it their all day-in and day-out, real results have been a long time coming. Our sports contributor, Brian MacLeod, suggested in his article this week that head coach Ted Woodward needs to resign or be forced out by the end of the season. People associated with the program will point back to the “glory days” and say that the Black Bears used to get results on the court and national recognition. To appease those people, we take a look back at the last time the men’s basketball team made the NCAA Tournament for this week’s Throwback Thursday.
Surprised? That’s right fans; the University of Maine men’s basketball team has NEVER won a conference title and has NEVER made it to the NCAA Tournament. Furthermore, Maine is the only state in the country with a D1 program who has not had a team participate at least once in the tournament; South Dakota State even made it into “the big dance” back in 2012. The Black Bears are coming up on their 52nd opportunity to make the tournament this spring, dating all the way back to 1962, the team’s first year in D1 basketball. There are only 7 other programs who have been tournament eligible as long as Maine and who have not made the tournament, luckily one of them is UNH. 
There was a time during the 1999-2000 season when it appeared Maine would finally make it being led by Andy Bedard and Nate Fox throughout the season and rolling through their first two America East tournament games. However an injury late in the second game to Bedard spelled disaster for the Black Bears who ended up losing the championship game at Delaware, still their closest opportunity to breaking the curse. There were several other tournament final games that Maine played in on the road and ultimately lost; never has Maine been ranked high enough in the regular season to host the tournament final.

If Maine’s new athletic director, Karlton Creech, is serious about implementing President Ferguson’s “Blue Sky Plan” and making Maine a true Division 1 athletic program; now is the time to bring in new coaching talent and right this 52 year wrong.

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