Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

March Madness

Texas Southern meets upstart Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in First Four

Texas Southern meets upstart Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in First Four

Upstart Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will square off against perennial postseason participant Texas Southern in an NCAA Tournament First Four game on Tuesday evening in Dayton, Ohio.

The winner will earn a berth in the main bracket against Midwest Regional #1 seed Kansas on Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Islanders (23-11) are making their second NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2006-07. Texas A&M-CC, which was only 7-7 in Southland Conference play, earned the berth via a win over Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday in the conference tournament final.

It’s just the third championship for the program, which began in 1999-2000.

“We’re going to go into the NCAA Tournament with the mindset of winning,” Islanders first-year coach Steve Lutz said. “It started with the character of the people in the locker room, and I just never lost faith in that. (The team) worked long and hard for this. They know what’s at stake.”

The Islanders, who went just 5-19 last season, have won seven of their past eight games.

They won with its defense, as they are 18-0 when holding opponents to 70 points or less. They dominated the lane in the tournament final, outrebounding Southeastern Louisiana 37-25 while building a 36-16 advantage in points in the paint.

Lutz came to Texas A&M-CC after four years as an assistant at Purdue, and it took awhile for his players to buy into his coaching.

That’s not an issue now.

“We realized that we got to believe him (and) just continue playing like he wants us to play,” Islanders forward De’Lazarus Keys said. “That’s what we did, and now we’re here.”

Texas Southern heads to Dayton after thrashing regular-season champion Alcorn State 87-62 to win the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament.

It’s the Tigers’ second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament and 10th overall.

“This is a great group of young men who several of them graduated last year,” Tigers coach Johnny Jones said after the win. “Several of them had a chance to leave and go on to play elsewhere or start another career. They decided to come back and try to repeat, and they were able to do that.”

Texas Southern (18-12) adds to its resume as the winningest Division I HBCU men’s basketball program. This marks the third consecutive First Four appearance and fourth all-time for the Tigers. Texas Southern has won its past two First Four appearances, in 2018 and 2021.

The Tigers did not have a player average in double-figure scoring during the regular season but had five amass at least 10 points in the win over Alcorn State.

“Our motto is making sure that we play every second, every play — that’s the most important thing for us,” Jones said. “It’s 40 minutes in the game, and we’ve got to make sure that we stay focused and really stay in tune with what we’re doing.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

PlayAction Podcast

SGPN | The Propcast | Week 4 NFL Player Props

NFL

Munaf Manji (@SportsNerd824) & Rod Villagomez (@rjvillagomez) of @TheSGPNetwork offer 5 player props each for Week 4.

SGPN | NFL Week 4 Afternoon Games & SNF Betting Preview
SGPN | NFL Week 4 Afternoon Games & SNF Betting Preview

NFL

The @SGPNNFL Pod covers the Week 4 late games as @SportsNerd824 & @ReichelRadio break down all four, including Tampa Bay & Kansas City.

SGPN | NFL Week 4 Picks
SGPN | NFL Week 4 Picks

NFL

The @GamblingPodcast guys pick every week 4 NFL game against the spread, including two locks, a ML dog and a three-team teaser

JetNation | Zach to Return vs Steelers
JetNation | Zach to Return vs Steelers

NFL

This week, @JetNation hosts Dylan Tereman & Glenn Naughton break down the Bengals loss, the return of QB Zach Wilson & the Steelers game.

SGPN | Diehard Eagles | Jaguars-Eagles Predictions
SGPN | Diehard Eagles | Jaguars-Eagles Predictions

NFL

The @DiehardEagles52 guys talk Philly's win over Wentz & WAS, Hurts' domination, rising expectations, 2nd half struggles,& picks vs JAX

Inside Pack Sports Live | NC State-Clemson Preview
Inside Pack Sports Live | NC State-Clemson Preview

NCAAF

The @InsidePackSport staff looks at tonight's NC State-Clemson showdown, matchups on both sides of the ball, key players & much more!

Buckeye Huddle | Is Michigan Football On Upset Alert & More
Buckeye Huddle | Is Michigan Football On Upset Alert & More

NCAAF

Tony Gerdeman of @BuckeyeHuddle joins host Tom Orr to break down Michigan-Iowa and the rest of this week’s biggest college football games.

SGPN | College Football Experience | Navy-Air Force Preview
SGPN | College Football Experience | Navy-Air Force Preview

NCAAF

SGPN's @TCEonSGPN previews Navy & Air Force. @TheColbyD is joined by AFA specialist @Falcon8fan of @HistoryFalcon to break it down.

SGPN | College Football Experience | Washington-UCLA Preview
SGPN | College Football Experience | Washington-UCLA Preview

NCAAF

SGPN's @TCEonSGPN previews Friday's Washington-UCLA game. @TheColbyD & @Scott_Bowser discuss whether Chip Kelly and UCLA will move to 5-0.