SFA needs two more wins to secure NCAA tourname - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

SFA needs two more wins to secure NCAA tournament berth


The SFA Lumberjacks have the nation's second longest winning streak in men's division one basketball. Most teams with a 29 and 2 record, would be locks for the NCAA tournament. That's not the case when your a small conference school. For the Jacks season to be truly special, they need two more wins.

"Last year we fell short. We know what it takes, and we don't want to walk out of the Merrell Center with our heads down again," senior Desmond Haymon said.

SFA became the first team ever to go 18 and 0 in Southland Conference play, but in reality that means nothing as of now. The Jacks know an S-L-C tournament title is necessary to be a part of march madness.

"We are playing for our lives, we are playing for the NCAA tournament, so we know that," Thomas Walkup said. Haymon added, "That's kind of helping us right now knowing that we aren't in. We have to bring it and cant go into tournament saying we made it." Nikola Gajic finished the point by saying, "This is my last chance to go to the NCAA tournament and I'm not going to let it go"

One thing Brad Underwood's team has going for it, its battle tested. From buzzer beaters to comeback wins, SFA's been through it all.

"We have been in ever scenario so you know so I have certain level of confidence in them and I think they are a confident bunch," coach Underwood said. Haymon added, "We go over all the different types of situations, the coaches put us in position and we take it from there."

It will take beating a team three times in a season in order to get to the big dance. That's no easy task, but the Jacks aren't looking at the negative.

"I kind of look at it the other way, they got to try and beat us once and I look at it from that perspective and we have had success," Underwood said.

The Jacks have proven they are the best in the Southland, but they must leave no doubt. Pressure? Not to these guys.

"Its one game, if you lose you go home so there is a little bit of pressure on us but again we have shown we are the best team already so hopefully we are going to finish like that," Gajic said.

With two more wins, SFA will punch its ticket to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009.

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