Wednesday, the Roadrunners’ sometime-illustrious run in the Southland Conference came to an end with a 78-74 quarterfinal overtime loss to the Cowboys of McNeese State.
After 20 years and three Southland Conference titles, Roadrunner basketball closes the book on the Southland. July 1 will be here soon, and with it the move to the Western Athletic Conference. But on Wednesday, March 7, that didn’t matter. What mattered was the fact that for the Roadrunners’ season to continue they had to win against the number four seed Cowboys.
The big thing that can be taken away from the Roadrunners’ loss is they missed a chance to become the first Roadrunner basketball team to win back-to-back conference championships. Granted, they might have lost to UT Arlington, who doubled up eight seed Nicholls State Wednesday 96-48. But there will never be that chance, at least in the Southland.
Now it comes time to move on from the past; the Southland will soon by like the Trans American Athletic Conference – a former home for UTSA. Their new home, the WAC, will offer plenty of new memories though perhaps none as exhilarating as the run the Roadrunners went on last year as a seven seed when they shocked the top three seeds and won conference.
This season ends disappointingly for the Runners, but to borrow a phrase from baseball, there is always next year. And next year the Runners will play their conference tournament games in Las Vegas, Nevada.