The 1982 Chaminade Silverswords (total enrollment: 800) defeated top-ranked Virginia and have still never won an NCAA Tournament game.
What Evansville pulled off this season is kind of in that orbit. First, let's remember November:
Just the beginning. @marchmadness team of the week #ForTheAces pic.twitter.com/vK1bQgCyCw— Evansville Basketball (@UEAthletics_MBB) November 18, 2019
Just the beginning. Well, that's technically accurate, but not the way they meant it.
The Purple Aces haven't won a basketball game since beating Murray State on Dec 21, which was the same day the Buckeyes beat the Kentucky Wildcats in the CBS Sports Classic. Back in November Evansville shocked the world when they defeated then top-ranked Kentucky in Rupp Arena, which led to them being named the March Madness team of the week.
No matter the opponent the message is the same.— Evansville Basketball (@UEAthletics_MBB) November 14, 2019
We ain't scared.#ForTheAces #NextYearisNow pic.twitter.com/g1j1QzNNG0
Then the clouds rolled in: Purple Aces coach Walter McCarty was placed on administrative leave Dec 27 pending a Title IX investigation against him, which resulted in his firing on Jan 21. Former Iowa coach Todd Lickliter was named the new head coach, replacing interim coach Bernie Seltzer who coached the team during the investigation.
Here's what Evansville has done on the court since conference play began Dec 31:
|DEC 31||@MISSOURI STATE||L 52-65|
|JAN 4||VALPARAISO||L 79-81|
|JAN 8||BRADLEY||L 52-72|
|JAN 11||@ LOYOLA-CHICAGO||L 44-78|
|JAN 15||@ INDIANA STATE||L 42-65|
|JAN 18||MISSOURI STATE||L 58-68|
|JAN 22||DRAKE||L 50-73|
|JAN 26||@ VALPARAISO||L 65-67|
|JAN 29||@ ILLINOIS STATE||L 66-77|
|FEB 1||@ NORTHERN IOWA||L 68-80|
|FEB 5||SOUTHERN ILLINOIS||L 60-64 (OT)|
|FEB 12||LOYOLA-CHICAGO||L 66-73|
|FEB 16||@ DRAKE||L 80-85|
|FEB 20||@ SOUTHERN ILLINOIS||L 53-70|
|FEB 23||INDIANA STATE||L 62-64|
|FEB 26||@ NORTHERN IOWA||L 64-84|
|FEB 29||ILLINOIS STATE||L 60-71|
With the completion of their regular season today, the Purple Aces have become the only team in NCAA basketball's 81-year history to beat the AP No.1 team and also go 0-fer in conference play.
They expected it would be an history season back in November. They were right!
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