The Blue Hens are headed back to the Big Dance!

Delaware earned a return trip to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament for the first time since 1999 after the Blue Hens rallied past William & Mary for a heart-stopping 75-74 victory in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament title game Monday night at the Baltimore Arena.

Carl Baptiste was nearly unstoppable inside, scoring a career-high 24 points, including the winning bucket with 13 seconds left, to lift the No. 1 seed Blue Hens (25-9) to their fifth straight victory and first ever CAA Tournament crown since joining the league in 2001-02.

The Blue Hens will find out where they are headed - and who they will play - this Sunday, March 16, when the NCAA 68-team field is announced.

“I can’t say enough about this group, and the way they just stick with it," said Delaware head coach Monté Ross, the CAA Coach of the Year who had led the Blue Hens to their first CAA Tournament title game appearance since he took over the helm in 2006-07. "To be down six late and just keep playing, I couldn’t be prouder of their resiliency. I love these guys, they are tremendous. To cap it off like this is really special."

The Blue Hens needed a huge stop in the final seconds to complete the late comeback, and they got it. William & Mary guard Marcus Thornton, who finished with 22 points, had the chance to win it in the waning seconds but his 20-foot jumper was off the mark and the horn sounded with the ball in the air.

The victory set off a wild celebration as a large throng of UD students and fans stormed the court to join their fellow Blue Hens.

“I wanted to get the ball to Devon (Saddler), but he said 'get it to Carl,' " said Ross of the play that resulted in the winning basket. "There were a lot of bodies inside, but he was able to power it in there.”

Tournament Most Outstanding Player Jarvis Threatt added 18 points and seven rebounds for the Hens, while Saddler contributed 16 points and five assists to lead yet another balanced effort. Kyle Anderson also finished with nine points, including two big three-pointers in the second half, and Davon Usher, who had scored 28 and 21 points in the Hens' first two tournament wins, was held to just eight points but contributed several big three-pointers down the stretch and pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.

Threatt was joined on the CAA All-Tournament team by Baptiste (below left) and Saddler, as well as William & Mary's Thornton and Brandon Britt and Northeastern's Scott Eatherton.