The Mount St. Mary’s University men’s basketball team took on the defending National Champion Villanova Wildcats in Buffalo, New York on March 16, 2017, during a nationally televised broadcast on CBS. The Mount trailed by just one at the half, but Villanova took over in the second session and won 76-56. The Mount’s Miles Wilson, C’20, led all scorers with 22. Although they came up short in their effort, the Mount showed the nation how they can play with the best in the country.
The Mount opened the NCAA Tournament with a 67-66 victory over the University of New Orleans on Tuesday, March 14. A combined 40 points from Junior Robinson, C’18, and Miles Wilson, C’20, was enough to allow the Mount to advance.
The team earned its automatic berth by capturing the NEC Championship with a win over Saint Francis University (Pennsylvania). It was the Mount’s fifth NEC title and first time it has clinched in front of its home fans. Junior Robinson, C’18, and Elijah Long, C’19, were named to the NEC All-Tournament Team, with Long also being named the Tournament MVP.
Last month, the Mount won the NEC regular season conference title for the first time in twenty-one years, defeating St. Francis Brooklyn 77-62.
As a result of the team’s success, the Northeast Conference named head coach Jamion Christian the Jim Phelan Coach of the Year. The award is Christian’s first, and he becomes only the second coach in the program’s history to take home the honors, behind the local legendary coach Jim Phelan, for whom the award is named.
Three players also received accolades, including guard Elijah Long, C’19 (All-NEC first team); guard Junior Robinson, C’18 (All-NEC second team); and guard Miles Wilson, C’20 (NEC All-Rookie team).