Babson is ready to put their 17-game winning streak on the line against Augustana (Ill.) Friday at 5:30 PM in the D3 Men’s Basketball Final Four. The Beavers approach the game with the hope of extending that streak to 18, and punching their Golden Ticket to the D3 Men’s Basketball Tournament Finals.
If you’re an Augustana (Ill.) fan, consider this your scouting report. If you’re a Babson fan, this should be a refresher, and maybe teach you a thing or two about your favorite team.
Check out our other D3 Men’s Basketball Final Four profiles as well:
But you’re here to talk Beaver basketball — so let’s do it.
How they got here: Babson rallied from 10 points down in the second half of their first-round bout with Westfield State to take a 75-62 win, highlighted by 28 points from sophomore forward Joey Flannery. It was the Beavers’ first NCAA Tournament win in 11 years. They followed their first tourney win in more than a decade with their second the next day — dominating the glass in a 54-47 victory over Scranton to secure a berth in the Sweet 16. In the Sweet 16, Flannery scored 13 of his game-high 21 points in the final nine minutes as Babson edged Johns Hopkins 49-47. The Beavers knocked off Trinity 76-69 in overtime to reach the Final Four.
Ranking and record: BR-7
Strength of Schedule: 97th
Conference Finish: 13-1, 1st in the NEWMAC
Top players: Flannery, a versatile forward, is one of the top scorers in the nation. He comes in averaging 21.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg and 2 apg. He gets to the line a ton and ranks second in the country in free throw attempts with 195, and has been red-hot during the Beavers tournament run. Forward John Wickey is one of just six players in school history to surpass 1,200 points and 600 rebounds. He is averaging 15.7 ppg and 7 rpg this season.
Head coach: Stephen Brennan (20th season)
Final Four appearances: This is Babson’s first trip to the Final Four.
Inside the numbers: Teams are averaging just 57.8 ppg (6th in D3) and shooting 39 percent from the field against the Beavers. They also boast a +8.3 rebounding margin.
Key to the game: This is an intriguing matchup because Babson, a team we rank No. 7 in the division in opponent-adjusted defensive efficiency, is going up against one of the most effective shooting teams in the nation. The Beavers will have to force tough shots and limit second chance opportunities against Augustana.
Did you know?: Babson is 9-1 in games decided by five points or less this season.