Seattle University

Low-major programs faced with slim margin for error

Sacramento State's best hope of reaching its first NCAA Tournament came in 2015-16.

The Hornets were coming off a 21-win season, had a strong returning nucleus and momentum on their side. Sac State opened the season by winning at Arizona State and beat Seattle University, on the road two days later.

The Hornets went through a tough nonconference schedule 7-4 and had their sights on a Big Sky Conference title.

One misplaced knee changed their season.

Cody Demps, the team's senior floor leader and go-to player, was injured in early December when a teammate's knee struck his thigh. In Sac State's conference opener against Portland State, Demps was hit in the exact...