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Last season, La Salle reached the NIT for what would be their first postseason action in 20 years. It was a big deal for Explorers fans, who have sat through quite a bit of poor basketball over the past few decades.
If they liked last season, they definitely loved this one.
Dr. John Giannini and his La Salle team barely squeaked into the NCAA tournament, finding a place in the First Four against a favored Boise State team.
The Explorers won that game the way they liked to—by scoring a lot of points.
After their 80-71 victory against the Broncos, things got much much tougher.
La Salle now had to play No. 4 seed Kansas State in what would practically be a home game for the Wildcats in Kansas City.
In the first half, they continued to do that thing where they put the ball in basket at an incredible rate, with senior Ramon Galloway, as he had all season, leading the charge against very tough odds.
Leading 44-26 at the half, the Explorers immediately got punched in the face as Kansas State came charging back with the stadium behind them.
A-10 fans must have suffered from flashbacks to last tournament, when No. 14 seed Saint Bonaventure took a huge lead against Florida State before falling apart in the second half.
However, Dr. Giannini kept his team together, and La Salle held on just long enough to eke out a 63-61 victory.
Now moving on to face class act Marshall Henderson and the 12th-seeded Ole Miss Rebels, La Salle would no longer be able to sneak under the radar and knew they were about to take part in a dogfight.
And fight they did, with junior Tyrone Garland sneaking in a layup with two seconds left to bring a 76-74 victory home to Philadelphia.
If it hadn't been for Florida Gulf Coast, La Salle's berth in the Sweet 16 would have been the talk of the tournament.
But it wasn't meant to be, and before the national spotlight had a chance to shine, the Explorers went down hard to Final Four-bound Wichita State, 72-58.
It was a definite loss, with the Shockers controlling the game from beginning to end, and Galloway's shooting touch finally left him, finishing his La Salle career with a 4-of-15 night from the field.
Nothing to be ashamed of for Dr. Giannini and Co.
La Salle, a school with a very rich basketball history that was quickly becoming ancient history, proved its worth against all expectations.
Postseason Grade: A