By Elliot Heis
Last season marked the most successful season for Cal Poly’s
men’s basketball team, as they almost went all the way, losing
56-53 to Findlay University in the national championship game.
The Broncos were 2.4 seconds away from going to a second
overtime when the undefeated Findlay Oilers hit a long
buzzer-beating 3-pointer to win the game and the championship,
“Our goal every year is to go to the national championship.
Otherwise there wouldn’t be any reason to play,” said sophomore
forward Tobias Jahn, who was named player of the game with 14
points and eight rebounds. “We always believed we could go big this
The championship appearance also brought in a new level of
school spirit, attracting numerous fans to games, which Cal Poly
has not seen for some time.
Cal Poly’s run to the final was a Cinderella story, as the
Broncos won the last 10 games of the regular season to claim the
top spot in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
The Broncos suffered a setback in the CCAA playoffs with a loss
to Cal State Monterey Bay.
Despite the loss, the Broncos qualified for the NCAA bracket and
faced Cal State San Bernardino in the NCAA West Regional, winning
Cal Poly took on Seattle Pacific, winning by eight points and
moving on to the West Regional Finals against BYU Hawaii.
The Broncos, seeded last in the bracket, had to travel to
first-placed BYU Hawaii in a hostile environment, thousands of
miles from their home court.
Although marked as the underdog, Cal Poly defeated Hawaii with
its trademark zone defense, taking the crowd out of the
After a confidence-solidifying-win in Hawaii, the Broncos
traveled to Springfield, Massachusetts for the NCAA finals.
After beating No. 12 Southwest Minnesota State and No. 4 Augusta
State, the Broncos made the final as an unranked team and would
attempt to claim the national championship against the No. 1
The Oilers came out strong against Cal Poly and took a 10-point
half-time lead, but the Broncos rallied in the second-half, holding
Findlay to just 12 second half points to force the game to
The Broncos looked in control and were tied, 53-53, with Findlay
when the Oilers made an impossible shot to take the win.
“Our guys competed hard and played to the last second,” Broncos
Head Coach Greg Kamansky said. “It was two tough, tough teams
playing, and they ended up making the shot.”
The loss was heartbreaking for the university, but the season
was a landmark for Cal Poly.
The program’s success brings in a new era for the team, which is
now in the national spotlight.
The Broncos bid farewell to four seniors, but return next season
with key players to make another run for the national
“We have great senior leadership with good people around them,”
Jahn said. “We have a working team with team chemistry, coaches
that care for us and a belief that was always there.”
The Broncos will return for the next season led by Kamansky.
Last year, Kamansky was recognized as CCAA Coach of the Year, but
results alone solidify his coaching abilities.
After coming so close last year, the Broncos will look to build
on last year’s success for the coming season.
Fans of Cal Poly Pomona?s mens basketball team showed their support by travelling 3,000 miles to go see them play in person at the NCAA Division II championship game in Springfield, Massachusetts. The Broncos eventually lost to Findlay University due to a last second shot in overtime.
Record run for men’s basketball team
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