St. Bona back on basketball map with 2 NCAA berths

JOHN WAWROW AP Sports Writer Published:

OLEAN, N.Y. (AP) -- Die-hard St. Bonaventure basketball fan John Firkel still recalls tearing up in despair when the Bonnies men's team boycotted its final two games of the 2002-03 season as a result of a player-eligibility scandal.

Nine years later, Firkel is emotional for an altogether different reason now that the Bonnies are, as he put it, "back on top of the world."

The Bonnies are indeed back.

Times two.

The Andrew Nicholson-led men's team (20-11) won its first Atlantic 10 Conference tournament and earned the 14th seed in the East Region. They'll face Florida State at Nashville, Tenn., on Friday.

The Bonnies women (29-3) will make their first tournament appearance after earning the fifth seed in the Raleigh Region. They'll open against Florida Gulf Coast at Tallahassee, Fla., on Sunday.