#6: 2003-2004 Season
For the 6th best moment in ETSU basketball history I’ve decided to go with the 2003-2004 season where ETSU finished 15-1 in Southern Conference games and won a total of 27 games, which is second best in school history.
There were a lot of high expectations for ETSU basketball around Johnson City when the 2003-2004 season started. The Bucs returned their two top seniors, Zakee Wadood and Jerald Field, and they also returned their dynamic sophomore PG, Tim Smith. ETSU started out with a few good wins including a win over Houston and UNC-Wilmington. However, the Bucs went 1-2 in the Rainbow Classic in Hawaii losing to both IUPUI and American. I recall being very disappointed after both losses, thinking those should have been easy wins, and I remember many other fans felt the same way, but the Bucs turned things around pretty quickly. After the loss to American the Bucs would pull off a school record 16 straight wins, including a win at Fresno State for the ESPN bracket-buster event. The 16 straight wins still stands as a school record today.
ETSU would go into the final game of the season with a 15-0 record in the conference, however the Bucs failed to get the sweep as they lost to College of Charleston, 89-91, in the final regular season game. That loss did not hurt ETSU’s confidence as they swept through the Southern Conference tournament, winning by an average of 13 points in each of the 3 games.
ETSU finished the season with an impressive 27-5 record and received a 13th seed in the NCAA tournament with a first round matchup against the Cincinnati Bearcats. The Bucs played one of the most exciting 1st round games in the whole tournament with Tim Smith wowing the crowd on several occasions and the Bucs leading with just a few minutes left, but in the end they fell short, thanks to Cincinnati 3-pointer in the last minute of the game.
I’ve including a few videos from 2004 in this post. The one at the top of the page is a highlight video of Tim Smith from the 2003-2004 season and the two at the bottom is the home game against Chattanooga and the Cincinnati NCAA tournament game.
Keep checking back this week as I’ll continue to count down the top 10 moments in ETSU basketball history.
ETSU vs Chattanooga in Johnson City
ETSU vs Cincinnati: 2004 NCAA Tournament