This is what college basketball is all about.
The NCAA tournament hasn’t even started and we already have our first tear-jerking moment of March Madness.
Monday marked not only the end of Fairfield’s season but also the tremendous college career of Stags guard Tyler Nelson, the school’s all-time leading scorer. Nelson’s 25 points weren’t enough to lift Fairfield over Iona in the MAAC championship game and head coach Sydney Johnson called Nelson over to the bench in the closing seconds for an emotional goodbye.
The Stags (17–16) are unlikely to receive a invitation to a postseason season tournament, so their run through the MAAC tournament as the No. 6 seed was their best chance at keeping their season alive.
Nelson led the MAAC with 22.1 points per game this season and became Fairfield’s all-time leading scorer on February 17, when he passed Tony George’s career total of 2,006 points set in 1986.
The NCAA tournament will be dominated this year by talk of players violating NCAA rules by accepting payouts. But with any luck there will also be more moments like this.