You know that basketball powerhouse from Newark, New Jersey, N.J.I.T.? New Jersey Institute of Technology is largely a commuter school educating future engineers, scientists and others, and is the only independent program in Division I. NJIT is never found in the NCAA March Madness tournament bracket or even “on the bubble” at the end of the season. And no, NJIT is not voluntarily independent for reasons similar to the storied Notre Dame Irish in football (pride and greed?).
Shocker. Coach Jim Engles and his team traveled to Ann Arbor with a 2-5 record likely hoping to depart with a respectable loss and shocked themselves with a win. Coach Engles himself admitted post-game that at the start of the season “I sort of penciled this one in as an ‘L.’ I have to readjust my whole process here, as to, ‘We just beat Michigan. I don’t know, maybe we should be in the Top 25.'”
Hero. Sophomore leading scorer Damon Lynn (18.6 points per game) made a 3-pointer for the Highlanders with less than three minutes to go and finished with 20 points to help NJIT pull the upset over the Wolverines 72-70 on Sunday.
This Upset Means? With no conference and automatic bid, NJIT would likely have to win out the season and then some for consideration of an at large bid to the NCAA tournament and that is unlikely unless they can shock again at Villanova and ranked D I powers.
Perhaps NJIT may now find a conference to hold them?
For the Wolverines, Caris LeVert had a career-high 32 points on Saturday, but it wasn’tt enough to defeat the upstart from Newark, NJ. The Highlanders made 11 of 17 3 pointers and got 17 points each from Willis Winfield and Ky Howard.
Storming the Court, Away from Home. After LeVert’s last-second prayer missed wide — and the Highlanders’ bench poured onto the court in celebration in front of the shocked fans of the Maize and Blue.