BABSON PARK, Mass.—Following trips to the NCAA Division III Final Four in 2015 and the Sweet 16 in 2016, the Babson College men's basketball program put together a historic 2017 campaign that culminated with the Beavers capturing their first national championship.
The oldest varsity sport at Babson with over 86 years and 900 wins in its history, the Green and White won a school-record 31 games on the way to joining men's soccer and men's ice hockey as the only program's in College history to raise the Walnut and Bronze. The championship also was the first for the school since 1984 when men's ice hockey defeated Union.
The Beavers, who lost two starters just prior to the postseason, overcame a 25-point first-half deficit in their 91-85 national semifinal victory over top-ranked Whitman College to reach the championship game for the first time in school history. In the final, Babson built a 10-point second-half lead but needed a game-saving block by Joey Flannery '17 in the closing seconds to hold on for a 79-78 win over Augustana (Ill.).
The historic year capped the most successful four-year stretch in program history, which featured four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, three New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular season titles, two conference tournament titles and 103 victories. Flannery, who repeated as the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Player of the Year, was selected as the Final Four Most Outstanding Player after averaging 27.8 points in six NCAA Tournament games.
Additionally, head coach Stephen Brennan was named NABC Division III Coach of the Year after leading the Beavers to their first championship.