La Salle’s dancing shoes still fit

phl_lasalle2_6c_18
The Explorers are back in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1992.
Rikard Larma/Metro

La Salle had already waited 21 years. So what was another 45 minutes?

In a tense room Sunday night, one filled with players and coaches, the Explorers watched Villanova and Temple (and every other team in the country) learn their fate in the NCAA tournament.

Finally, La Salle saw its name in the field of 68 and the players erupted with a massive celebration. For the first time since 1992, the Explorers are headed to the Big Dance.

La Salle (21-9) will play No. 13 seed Boise St. (21-10) Wednesday (9:10 p.m.) in Dayton, Ohio. The winner will face No. 4 Kansas State in the West Region.
Since losing to Butler in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament, La Salle was forced to play the waiting game. This time, the wait was worth it. The Explorers are in.

“It was so hard waiting that I almost wanted to walk out of the room,” said guard Tyreek Duren. “I kind of had a headache because it was hard to watch and not knowing. Then, when you see your name called, it’s incredible. I’m so emotional right now that I almost don’t know what to say.”

John Giannini was hired in 2004 as the 18th head coach in the program’s history. It took a while to climb this hurdle, but it was satisfying.

“It’s a big step for your program to be in this very special event,” Giannini said. “They made us wait [and] they made us sweat a little bit, but it was obviously worth it.”

For Tyrone Garland, the whole evening was surreal. He began his career at Virginia Tech, but decided to transfer to La Salle in his hometown. Working his way into the rotation and being part of a team headed for the NCAAs made him virtually speechless.

“I’m almost at a loss for words, but I know I’m very, very excited because we’ve worked for this and we’ve earned this,” said Garland, who scored 2,198 points in the Public League, third most behind Maureece Rice and Wilt Chamberlain. “This is a proud day for me, for La Salle, for Philadelphia. It’s time to go to work and show that we do belong with the best. I can’t wait for this. It’s been a long time coming.”

Twenty-one years and change, to be exact.

“Let’s go!” said guard Ramon Galloway. “Time to get down to business. It’s our time. Let’s do it.”

What to know
» La Salle (21-9) will play No. 13 Boise State (21-10) Wednesday night at 9:10 p.m. in Dayton, Ohio. The winner will face No. 4 Kansas State in the West Region.

» Boise St. is headed to the NCAA tournament for sixth time in its history. The last time was 2008 (lost to Louisville, 79-61).

» This is the 12th career NCAA appearance for La Salle. The Explorers lost to Seton Hall, 78-76, in the first round of the 1992 NCAA tournament.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

The Word

The Word: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie finally…

Well, everybody, it finally happened. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie went and got themselves hitched — according to noted scandal sheet the Associated Press —…

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

NFL

Giants vs. Patriots: 3 things to watch

The Giants wrap up their extended preseason campaign Thursday night by playing host to the Patriots.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…