The manager of Wink Arena should really start purchasing basketball nets in bulk for how quickly the men’s team is cutting through them.
The Bulldogs defeated Michigan Tech 81-76 Saturday, Feb. 18, in Wink Arena to clinch the regular season GLIAC Championship and cut down the net for the third time since the 2014-15 season to celebrate.
The tradition of cutting down nets and doling pieces out to the team as a souvenir began in 1947 when a North Carolina State Coach hacked off the net after his team won its conference championship, according to USA Today.
Ferris junior point guard Drew Cushingberry now has three separate pieces of commemorative championship twine. He and the rest of the Bulldogs will have an opportunity to build their collection in the upcoming GLIAC tourney, in which they’re the No. 1 seed.
“It was an unreal feeling. We had a team goal to win the regular season and to accomplish that goal is amazing,” Cushingberry said. “But now it’s time to look forward to the next game because we have a lot more to prove and accomplish from here on out.”
Before the Bulldogs won the GLIAC tournament last year, then-senior guard Josh Fleming guaranteed that Ferris would sweep the tournament and win the championship despite the team entering as the No. 6 seed. Yet, this year’s team is less ready to make such assurances.
“Now being the No. 1 seed, we got to live up to that and take it as a challenge rather than a given,” said Ferris sophomore center Zach Hankins.
While Ferris is the favorite to win the tournament based on seeding, the rest of the tournament field is still murky as teams still have games to be played.
Regardless, Ferris will take on the No. 8 seed in the first round of the tourney and they’re being careful to not overlook anybody.
“It definitely gives us confidence. We take it with a little bit of a grain of salt knowing that it’s easy for No. 1 seeds to fall down,” Hankins said. “Saginaw Valley was ranked No. 1 in the nation for the first couple weeks of the season and they fell hard so we just got to be careful to avoid anything like that happening to us.”
The Bulldogs will wrap up their regular season against Grand Valley State. The regular season finale tips off 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, in Big Rapids.
After the regular season finale, the GLIAC tournament will tip off for the Bulldogs Thursday, Feb. 28, in Big Rapids with the time yet to be announced.