The Texas Southern Tigers are headed to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years. Their reward is a date with number one seed North Carolina (27-7), Friday in Greenville, South Carolina. The South Regional game will tip at 2 p.m. and air on TNT.
TSU garnered the 16th seed much to the dismay of head coach Mike Davis who was lobbying for a 14 or even 13 seed after his team’s tough non-conference schedule. Texas Southern played the likes of UT-Arlington, Arizona, Louisville, Cincinnati, LSU, TCU and Baylor before going 16-2 to win the SWAC’s regular season title. The Tigers defeated Alcorn State Saturday to also claim the tournament championship.
Before the Tigers found out that they would have to face North Carolina in the Big Dance, head coach Mike Davis spoke about the challenges ahead for his squad.
“We are going to have to see a monster and the monster is a number one seed, a number two seed, a number three seed,” Davis explained. “So to be ready for the monster you are going to have to take your effort, and your toughness and your alertness to another level,” he said.
Guard Kevin Scott understands that the odds-makers and fans expect the top seeds to take care of business in the opening round.
“I just know all the odds are against us,” he admitted. “So we are going to go out there and play as hard as we can. Well I know for a fact we are going to play as hard as we can and everybody else is going to do the same.”
Davis has the experience of coaching in a national championship game when he was at Indiana. He wants his players to dream big and work hard to make history.
“I want to have players that want to play in the NCAA Tournament,” he said Saturday. “I want to have players that want to do something special and that is to be the first black school to play in a Final Four.”
The task to get through the opening round game will be huge for Texas Southern. The Tigers are 0-6 all time in the tournament and odds-makers have listed North Carolina as a 26-point favorite.
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