Among the many things wrong with college basketball is that life in one-bid leagues is such a hunger game. No matter what happens between October and March, it’s March Madness or bust.
Watch highlights of buzzer-beating shots in conference championship games. The all-or-nothing reality flashes on the screen, one team erupting in the joy of “all” and the other squatting in the misery of “nothing.”
A year after Jacksonville State’s men made their Division I-era breakthrough, they’re back on the nothing side. They lost to eventual champion Murray State, a team the Gamecocks beat at home, in the Ohio Valley Conference semifinals.
JSU came back from a 20 points down to take the lead, only to see Murray finish with an 8-0 spurt.
Just like that, a promising season ends with no hope for the one and only prize that matters. The Gamecocks could end up in the CIT or CBI, but it’s not the “Dance.”
What a shame, especially when an FBI probe has made it more open than secret that so many major programs cheat their you-know-whats off. Never mind that the majors won’t play mid-majors on the road.
This was a notable season for JSU basketball. The Gamecocks finished 21-12 … 12-4 at home, 7-7 on the road and 2-1 at neutral sites. Their 11-7 record against OVC competition improved on last season’s 9-7 mark.
JSU won 20 or more games for the second year in a row, both under second-year head coach Ray Harper. Bill Jones was the last JSU coach to do that, in 1991-92, and they just named the Pete Mathews Coliseum court after him.
No NCAA bid, but schools like JSU have one pathway.