two teams had split during the regular season, with MCCC beating Lackawanna
on January 28 after a loss in November. Since that January win, the Vikings
have gone on to win 10 of their last 11 games. This is Mercer's first
Region 19 title since 1998, the last season the Vikings played at the
national tournament, under then-head coach Bud Livingston.
Mercer (20-12) entered the regional tournament as the third seed. The Vikings reached the final after wins over Essex County College, 70-64, in the quarterfinals on Feb. 23, and Delaware Tech-Stanton, 76-68, in the semifinals on Feb. 28.
According to Coach Levy, the Vikings have come together in the last few weeks. "Players have put selflessness above everything else. They have really banded together. They have adopted as their own the unselfish way of playing that we have talked about all season," he said.
Levy notes that approaching the tournament, he was confident in what he could expect from the team. "I felt they were prepared and I had a good idea of what I would get on the court and what the product was going to be."
Levy adds that his players are thrilled to be going to the NJCAA tournament. Reflecting on his own tournament experience as a player for Princeton University in the 1980s, Levy said, "Going to a national tournament is a special experience, one that you will remember for your whole life. But I want to resist being satisfied with that. We want to win the whole thing.
"As a coach, you are never satisfied. You always want your team to keep on striving to get better," he said.
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