The impact of the NCAA winter sports postseason ban on Southern will affect none more than the men’s basketball team.
Southern (17-11, 13-2) was the odds on favorite to win its second consecutive SWAC championship prior to Thursday’s ruling. Coming off a great performance in the NCAA Tournament, Southern played much of the 2013-14 season with a chip on its shoulder to prove last year wasn’t a fluke.
Now the Jaguars are ineligible to play in next month’s SWAC Tournament. Their sterling season and hopes of advancing late into March all gone.
“It’s hard right now, a lot of tears,” Southern head coach Roman Banks said. “Everyone is kind of just numb right now. I don’t know the correct words right now to say to lift them up, but I apologized because they believe in you and what you’re all about and they believe in the university and it doesn’t turn out the way they would like it to and it’s out of their control. You can’t help but feel down and hurt.”
News of the ban created a wave of activity on social media and throughout the HBCU landscape.
Nearly one year ago, the men’s basketball nearly pulled off the greatest upset in NCAA Tournament history by becoming the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed when they dropped 64-58 decision to Gonzaga.
All that is left now is to play out the string.