Alaska Baseball

UAF’s men’s basketball team’s improbable run ends in NCAA Tournament

The UAF men’s basketball team’s improbable run came to a halt Monday, one win short of a trip to the Elite 8.

Chico State (Calif.) defeated the No. 8 seed Nanooks 70-52 in the Round of 16 at Coussoulis Arena in San Bernardino, Calif.

Coleman Sparling led the Nanooks with 13 points. Shadeed Shabazz, who had been a one-man wrecking crew for much of the postseason, struggled from the field. The senior shot just 2 of 16 from the field and finished with six points. Koby Huerta and Willie Thomas III added 10 apiece for UAF.

Less than two weeks ago, the Nanooks had entered the Great Northwest Conference Tournament as the No. 10 seed. After winning a play-in game, UAF swept through the next three rounds to win the GNAC title and won two rounds in the NCAA Division II Tournament.

As the No. 8 seed, the Nanooks stunned the No. 1 seed San Marcos (Calif.) 70-63 on Friday. The followed that up the next night with a 72-71 overtime win against Azusa Pacific (Calif.) to set up the Sweet 16 matchup against Chico State.