On July 1, 2006 Northern Colorado officially joined the Big Sky Conference as a Division 1 basketball program. Four years, eight months and eight days later the Bears reached the top of said conference, winning the Big Sky Tournament and clinching the school's first ever berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Trailing in the second half to the Montana Grizzlies, the Bears used a 12-1 run to power their way to a 65-60 win, sending the crowd in Greeley, CO into a frenzy as fans stormed the court.
Just a few hours earlier, the Long Island Blackbirds clinched their first trip the Dance since 1997 with a thrilling 85-82 overtime win over two-time defending NEC champ Robert Morris. Not since the days of Charles Jones leading the nation in scoring has LIU had the opportunity to be a player on the national stage. Next week they'll get their chance.
Look for more on these games and other mid-major action in tomorrow's Mid-Major Morning Mashups!