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).
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 only two-time winner)
- 2016: Chicago State
- 2017: Alabama A&M