NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A local team could be making its first appearance in the NCAA tournament.

As CBS2’s Scott Rapoport explained, St. Francis College in Brooklyn might qualify on Tuesday.

St. Francis, a tiny school with five buildings on a half block in Brooklyn Heights has only 2,700 students and a chance to do something special.

Excitement was running high on Tuesday where the men’s basketball team is one win away from making it to the NCAA tournament for the first time ever.

“I talked to God this morning. He says [it’s] a guaranteed victory for St. Francis College Terriers,” Father Brian Jordan said.

On Saturday, the Terriers crushed their opponents in the North Eastern Conference semi-final at the school’s tiny, 1,000-seat Pope Athletic Center in Brooklyn Heights.

A win on Tuesday night in the championship game against Robert Morris would put the team in the national tournament.

It’s the athletic equivalent of Cinderella crashing the ball.

“It’s so exciting. My dad calls me after every game because this has never happened,” Mackenzie Iburg said.

“I feel like this is our chance to make history. It’s finally our time,” Luther Gillespie said.

St. Francis College is one of only five original NCAA Division I teams to never qualify for the big dance since its inception in 1948.

In the face of this kind of pressure, Head Coach Glenn Braica has been telling his athletes to have fun.

“Relax. Just have fun with it. Enjoy it. It’s the best years of your lives,” he said.

The experience is something that will stay with the athletes forever.

“It would mean a lot to us. We’ll remember this forever,” senior and power forward Jalen Cannon said.

St. Francis has played Robert Morris twice this season; each team has taken a game.


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