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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: The dance stops

   March 12, 1978 -- The St. Bonaventure basketball team hasn't taken many trips to the NCAA basketball tournament over the years. When it does, it should be enjoyed.

   Bona's 1978 visit was a little too short and sweet for its liking. The Bonnies lost a 92-83 decision to Penn in the first round of the tournament in Philadelphia.

   It was part of a great era in St. Bonaventure basketball under coach Jim Satalin. In 1977, Essie Hollis, Glenn Hagen and Greg Sanders helped the Bonnies win the NIT title. A year later, Bona faced Syracuse in Rochester's War Memorial for an ECAC bid to the NCAA tournament. Delmar Harrod hit the game-winning shot with 15 seconds left, Marty Byrnes couldn't answer for Syracuse, and giddy fans knocked down a basket and shattered a backboard in their postgame celebration. Sanders, a top forward, had 30 points and Hagan had 19.

   But Keven McDonald had 37 points in 39 minutes for the Quakers in the NCAA game, and he added 11 rebounds. It was the fourth of five trips over the years to the Big Dance for St. Bonaventure, although it was tough to play Penn in Philadelphia. Penn lost to eventual Final Four team Duke.

 --- Budd Bailey


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.