Southeastern Louisiana takes on St. Mary’s on Tuesday in the first round of the NIT tournament. The Gaels are one of the teams with the biggest gripes about not getting into the NCAA tournament as they won 28-5 overall, 14-2 in the West Coast Conference, and they have a win at Gonzaga on their resume. It really was shocking to see them left out and now they have to regroup and make a run in the NIT.
They will be battling the Lion of Southeast Louisiana who come in as the #8 seed (St. Mary’s was given a #1). The Lions won 22 games and were close to making the NCAA tournament themselves, but by winning their conference tournament. They went down by only four points, 59-55, to Stephen F. Austin on Saturday or they would have been dancing.
SE Louisiana narrowly loses
SE Louisiana came very close to being in the NCAA Tournament but fell just short of Stephen F. Austin on Saturday. The final score was 59-55 and the game was very close until the final moments. The Lions trailed by seven points at halftime and made a nice second half run to keep the game close, but they didn’t do enough down the stretch and fell just short.
On the offensive end, they were led by senior guard Joshua Filmore, who had 14 points, despite only making three of 10 from beyond the arc. That was really the difference as the Lions made only six out of 19, while the Lumberjacks made seven of 15 and in a close game, that made all the difference.
St. Mary’s gets left out
I live 10 minutes from Moraga, CA and as I write this I am surrounded by lots of St. Mary’s fans at my local cafe. They are in disbelief that they didn’t make the NCAA tournament and I’ve heard many of the same arguments. Won 28 games. Finished 14-2 in the WCC and only one game behind Gonzaga. And that they beat the Zags on the road. It seems compelling, but the committee thought differently.
Now they have to get their heads screwed on straight and concentrate on the NIT’s. If they are going to make a run it most certainly be on the back of Jock Londale. Londale has been great all year long and averages 21.4 points and 10.3 boards while shooting an absurd 64% from the field. Don’t be surprised to see the Gaels make the NIT Final Four.
The SE Louisiana Lions are:
- 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
The St. Mary’s Gaels are:
- 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
I think it will be hard for the Gaels to come out with the proper motivation so I’ll gladly take the points and the underdog here.