Sunday, March 20, 2016

Les East: Postseason opportunities gave Southern teams an extra edge

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- Both Southern basketball teams saw their seasons come to disappointing ends in the past few days.

The men followed their Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament championship with an uneven performance in a 59-55 loss to fellow No. 16 seed Holy Cross in the First Four of the NCAA tournament Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio.

One night later, the women, who had fallen one win short of an NCAA tournament appearance of their own, couldn’t get going offensively and lost at Arkansas State 68-45 in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.

But the fact that both teams were automatic qualifiers for postseason play in the first season in three that they were eligible for such drove home the significance of being able to compete for championships.

The men’s victory in the SWAC tournament earned them the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.


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