Army's magic number down to one

A record crowd was on hand at Christl Arena Saturday to see Army beat Navy 69-50. ( photo)

A record crowd was on hand at Christl Arena on Saturday to see Army beat Navy 69-50. ( photo)

The Army men’s basketball team has two basketball games left. Win one of them, and they’ve wrapped up the program’s first winning season since 1984-85.

By crushing Navy on Saturday to improve to 14-12 overall (4-8) Patriot, the Black Knights stopped a disastrous three-game losing skid that put their shot at winning record in peril. The Black Knights now must win one game to ensure a 15-13 finish in the regular season, which means they could lose their conference tournament quarterfinal game and still end up with a winning record (16-15). If Army loses both regular season games, they must win at least two conference tournament games to finish above .500.

Army’s final two games are against Lafayette on Wednesday night and Bucknell on Saturday. On paper, each game looks daunting for the boys from West Point. Lafayette and Bucknell are third and second, respectively, in the Patriot League, and each squad has beaten Army this year.

The one crucial advantage swinging in Army’s favor is that the last two games are at West Point.

Army set a Christl Arena attendance record on Saturday, and head coach Zach Spiker was so impressed with the atmosphere at the game that he wrote a letter to fans thanking them for the turnout. Army has won 10 of 11 games at Christl this season, and Spiker wants all the help he can get finishing out these last two regular season games:

We have a big week ahead of us and are fortunate that we get the chance to play in front of our home crowd in each of our last two regular-season games. We will definitely need everyone’s continued efforts to climb as high as we can in the league standings and generate momentum heading into the postseason.

Saturday certainly was a great day for Army fans. But for one cadet (I assume it’s a cadet) and his girlfriend, the beatdown of Navy was made all the more special by a successful marriage proposal:


See CBS’s highlights of the game after the jump.



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