NORFOLK, Va. - The Norfolk State men's basketball team's NCAA Tournament upset of Missouri is one of four nominees in the "Best Upset" category for the 2012 ESPY Awards, it was announced on Wednesday.
The 2012 ESPYS - or Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly awards - will be handed out on Wednesday, July 11 at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. The live show airs at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
The Spartans, making their first-ever Division I postseason basketball appearance, became just the fifth No. 15 seed in NCAA Tournament history to record an upset of a No. 2 seed when they shocked Missouri 86-84 in an NCAA West Region second round game in Omaha, Neb. on March 16. Big 12 champion Missouri came into the game with a 30-4 record and was ranked No. 3 in the national polls, making the Tigers the highest-ranked No. 2 seed to lose to a 15th seed.
"This nomination is a tribute to our athletics program," NSU Athletics Director Marty L. Miller said. "Along with the men's basketball team defeating Missouri, this ESPY nomination is one of the most significant accomplishments in our history."
NSU is joined in the "Best Upset" category by Lehigh's NCAA Tournament victory over Duke, which occurred just hours after NSU's win over Missouri and became the sixth 15-over-2 upset in tournament history; the Los Angeles Kings winning the 2012 Stanley Cup; and Iowa State's regular-season football upset of Oklahoma State.
Spartan men's basketball coach Anthony Evans and players Kyle O'Quinn and Pendarvis Williams have been invited to attend the awards presentation.