by Juwan Saunders
With an impressive season, it’s not hard to see how the Spartans made their campaign for March Madness. After going 17-8 during the regular season, the Norfolk State men’s basketball team was selected into the 2021 March Madness bid. The Spartans entered the college basketball playoffs as a No. 16 seed.
The Spartans were led through the season by a trio in the backcourt comprised of Devante Carter, Joe Bryant Jr., and Jalen Hawkins. All three of the guards averaged ten or more points per game for the season. The Spartans also had consistent help from their big men in Kashaun Hicks and J.J. Matthews.
Going into the tournament, the Spartans knew they would have to face new competition at the highest level of college basketball. Although Norfolk State took the win over Appalachian State, they would fall short to Gonzaga, one of the nation’s top basketball programs.
Rising junior guard, Tyrese Jenkins shared a tweet “Appreciate all the love and support…WE WILL BE BACK.”
Jenkins’ tweet, following the loss to Gonzaga, embarked on the new chapter that the Spartans are looking forward to.
Head coach Robert Jones gave a powerful speech after the loss against Gonzaga saying “You can walk out of here with your head high because you’ve done something that’s never been done in NSU history”.