Stetson University Prepares for First Ever March Madness Berth


For the first time in the history of the school's college basketball program, Stetson University will be competing in the Division I NCAA tournament, better known as March Madness. Before this historic appearance they'd been one of just a few dozen eligible schools to never make the cut.

The Stetson Hatters defeated Austin Peay State University 94-91, a public college in Tennessee, to secure the ASUN championship and move on to March Madness. The all-time scoring record for the ASUN championship game was set by Stetson guard Jalen Blackmon, who put up 43 points and earned MVP honors. The Edmunds Center was packed for Stetson's big game, and the win kicked off one of the most raucous celebrations in the program's long history.

It's not yet known who Stetson will play in round one of the March Madness bracket; that announcement will come on Sunday. From there, though it may seem like a tall order, they'll be just six wins away from becoming national men's college basketball champions. Other tournament appearances for Stetson have included the College Basketball Invitational in 2021 and 2023, plus the NCAA Division II Tournament in 1967, 1970, and 1971.

The accomplishment is surely in part due to the leadership of head coach Donnie Jones, an experienced skipper with prior tenures at the University of Florida, University of Central Florida, Wichita State University, and the University of Daytona among others. Since joining Stetson in the 2019-20 season he's posted a winning record in just two out of five years, with this season being by far the highest he and the Hatters have flown in their time together.

A watch party for the NCAA Selection Show will be held at the Carlton Union Building's Carr Stetson Room at Stetson University, with the coaching staff and team on-hand to watch. CBS will be present to cover the event.