|Cal Poly Pomona basketball players, from left, David Sybesma, Hervey Malone, Tyrone Marshall and Yousof Etemadi celebrate in the Kellogg Gym locker room after returning from Hawaii and winning the NCAA Division II West Regional.|
|Jeff Bonds and Jonathon Boyd walk away from the bus as members of the Cal Poly Pomona men's basketball team return from Hawaii.|
While the hour may have been late, there was no dimming of enthusiasm as the Cal Poly Pomona men?s basketball team arrived back on campus Tuesday night. It was a time for cheers, hugs and high-fives as a group of fans met the chartered bus that provided the final leg of the Broncos amazing Hawaiian odyssey.
Having reached the NCAA Division II playoffs for the first time since 1976, Cal Poly Pomona made the most of its opportunity, winning three times in four days to claim the 2003 West Regional title.
Hosted by BYU-Hawaii in Laie, Hawaii, the regional featured the top eight teams from the West. Following victories over Alaska Fairbanks (80-76) Friday and longtime conference rival Cal State Bakersfield (62-49) Saturday, the Broncos claimed the program?s first-ever regional championship with a thrilling 91-84 double-overtime victory against defending regional champion Cal State San Bernardino Monday night.
Nearly 24 hours later, the Cal Poly Pomona team returned home to a champion?s welcome outside Kellogg Gym.
?This is fantastic,? said head coach Greg Kamansky. ?It was a tremendous achievement by this team, and to come home to something like this is really an unexpected pleasure.?
Winning the regional title advances the Broncos to the 2003 Division II Elite 8 Tournament, scheduled for March 26-29 in Lakeland, Fla. They will face Kentucky Wesleyan in a national quarterfinal game set for an 11:30 a.m. (PST) start on Wednesday, March 26.
PolyCentric will bring you more stories on the Broncos throughout their playoff run. For the latest updates on all Bronco athletic teams and events, visit www.cpp.edu/~athletic or call (909) 869-2812. For tournament brackets and the latest playoff scores and information, visit the NCAA Web site at www.ncaasports.com, or go to the Elite 8 Web page at www.flsouthern.edu/sid/elite8.htm. Tournament brackets can also be accessed at polycentric.cpp.edu/ncaa1_2003_gif.