For the first time in its Division I history, Jacksonville State is headed to the NCAA Tournament.
The selection committee deemed the Ohio Valley Conference Champions worthy of a No. 15 seed and the Gamecocks will play No. 2 seed Louisville on Friday in Indianapolis.
“It’s an exciting feeling, I’m still speechless to this day, we are just going to have to get after it and play a good team,” said senior guard Erik Durham.
JSU punched its ticket to the big dance on March 4 when it knocked of Tennessee-Martin 66-55 in the OVC title game.
The tournament berth highlights the strides the program has taken in just one season under Ray Harper.
“They’re (Louisville) one of the best pressure defensive teams in the country and they rebound at a high level so we’re going to have to be locked in,” said Harper.
In 2016, JSU finished 8-23 overall and 4-12 in the conference. JSU parted ways with former coach James Green shortly after the season.
On April 6, 2016, Ray Harper took over and led Jax State to a 20-14 overall record and a 9-7 record in the conference.
The regular season performance earned the Gamecocks the No. 4 seed in the tournament. They ran through No. 5 seed SEMO and top-seeded Belmont to reach the title game.
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