Men’s Basketball Team Wins Randolph-Macon its First National Title

The Yellow Jackets trounced Elmhurst College, 75-45, in the Division III National Championship on Saturday.


Matthew Montgomery, Staff Writer

The NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship seemed to be more of a coronation than a competition for our new national champions. This title came after a long pandemic-laden two-year wait, but now the Randolph-Macon men’s basketball team has a trophy to put in the case.

Throughout the tournament, and especially in the Final Four, there was very little doubt as to how the season would end for the Yellow Jackets. The team was consistently beating other top-ranked competition by truly impressive margins, including an astonishing 30-point blowout victory against Elmhurst College, 75-45, in the national championship game on Saturday.

The environment inside the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, was hostile, as the other teams competing at the Final Four were all from the Midwest, leaving Randolph-Macon with the furthest distance to travel by far. Yet, this impediment was no match for the team’s talent on the floor. This team’s road to a championship was not going to be slowed by anything.

There were constant reminders that this ride was not just for the current players, but rather for all players, coaches and fans that had come before.

In an interview postgame, senior guard Anthony earned honors as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and the National Player of the Year on’s All-America list.

Anthony led the team in points with 17.5 points per game while also playing 34 minutes per contest.

Additionally, head coach Josh Merkel was voted the Division III Coach of the year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC); the first recipient of this award in R-MC history.

During the net-cutting ceremony, junior forward Noah Lindsay received a piece of the net, ran over to the stands and gave it to a former player.

The NCAA paid homage to the two-year gap in tournaments with a banner that said, “Welcome to the 2020 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship in Atlanta.” Many of the former players in attendance were members of the 2020 team that made it as far as the Sweet 16 before the COVID-19 pandemic put the sports world on pause. Last year, the NCAA did not host an official tournament.

This championship puts a cherry on top of what was already a historic season for the Yellow Jackets. The 2021-22 team set the program record for wins at 33 and won 27 consecutive games to end the season. The Yellow Jackets did not lose a single game at home and brought Randolph-Macon its first national championship in school history.

While the team will be losing some key players to graduation, many other players will be returning, including junior forward Miles Mallory and junior guard Josh Talbert, who will look to compete for another championship next season.


*All photos courtesy of Randolph-Macon on Instagram.