HISTORY OF THE CENTENARY AWARD
The staff here at HoopsHD has been participating in a Mock NCAA Tournament Selection Committee for many years now (since well before the website was founded). During the 2010-11 season, Centenary College of Louisiana announced that it would be transitioning its athletics program down to a lower level of the NCAA and no longer participating at the Division I level. Centenary had a woefully bad season that year, going 1-28 and failing to even qualify for the Summit League conference tournament. When our Mock Committee comvened, we were presented with an initial ballot which provided that if at least three members voted a team onto the “Under Consideration” board, the team would qualify for that board and be eligible to be voted into our Field of 68. Following some heavy lobbying, our Committee took advantage of the Rule and gave Centenary its required three votes, much to the anger of our Committee Chair at the time, Kyle Lamb. Throughout our process, several motions were made to remove the Gents from the “Under Consideration” board, and all those motions were defeated. Although we did not place the Gents in our field that year, they ended up being one of a group of about ten teams that “just missed the field” at the end of the process.
After the success we had in keeping the Gents’ dreams alive of one last NCAA Tournament before they transitioned down, the following season we officially created the coveted “Centenary Award,” given annually by our staff to the worst team in Division I. The winner is chosen by our staff during our Mock Committee meetings. As a prize for winning the Award, the team is placed on our “Under Consideration” board. There is also a rumor of a Golden Toilet Seat trophy, though to date it has not actually been seen. The Rules for winning have been clarified to hold that any Division I team is eligible, even if that team is ineligible for the NCAA Tournament for another reason (such as APR or being a transitional program).
Beginning in 2018, a second Award, called the Stallings Award, was created. This award is to be given annually to the worst major conference team in Division I. The Stallings Award was created after half of the Hoops HD Mock Selection Committee wanted to give the Centenary Award to Pitt despite Delaware State being the worst team in Division I. This Award will continue to be given annually, and its recipient will also be placed Under Consideration for voting in by the Mock Committee.
LIST OF CENTENARY AWARD WINNERS
- 2011: Centenary
- 2012: Towson (this was a very contentious choice, but the Tigers narrowly beat out Binghamton)
- 2013: Grambling State
- 2014: Southern Utah
- 2015: Grambling State (the first two-time winner)
- 2016: Chicago State
- 2017: Alabama A&M
- 2018: Delaware State
- 2019: Chicago State (two-time winner)
LIST OF STALLINGS AWARD WINNERS
- 2018: Pittsburgh
- 2019: Vanderbilt