Journey to the Tourney: NCAA March Madness Preview

March madness graphic

Madness — the word that describes the basketball tournament every spring semester that pits 68 of the most talented NCAA Division I basketball teams against one another.

The fall semester is dominated by college football coverage. There is one fatal flaw with college football; the teams in the power five conferences (SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12) receive a disproportionate bulk of the acclaim. UTSA, a member of the Conference USA (C-USA), strays out of the football power loop.

In college basketball, however, any team can receive acclaim— all the team needs to do is win.

Thirty-two of the 68 participating teams gain automatic entry by winning their respective conference championship with an NCAA committee selecting the remaining teams.

UTSA could receive an automatic bid if they win this year’s C-USA tournament. Coming off a loss to the UTEP Miners, UTSA holds a 2-3 record in conference play, which places them three games behind the conference leaders Louisiana Tech (14-4, 5-0) and Western Kentucky (12-5, 5-0).

With 13 conference games remaining in the regular-season, the Roadrunners have plenty of opportunities to place themselves favorably in the post-season tournament.

UTSA last appeared in the tournament in 2011. During their latest March Madness stint, the Roadrunners beat Alabama State in the opening round, but were defeated by Ohio State in the next round. The UTSA Roadrunners have been in the tournament three other times: 2004, 1999 and 1988.

According to the NCAA’s official website, there have been more than 30 different winners of the illustrious tournament — including conference rival the UTEP Miners.

Before the season, Fox Sports projected that UTSA would finish a paltry twelfth place out of the 14 C-USA teams. However, the Roadrunners have already proved to be stronger than this projection, showing muscle in their two conference wins against North Texas (7-10, 1-4) and Southern Mississippi (5-11, 0-5).

The Roadrunners will go on the road for their next game against Marshall (4-14, 0-5). A win against the Marshall Thundering Herd would be a step in the right direction — towards the madness.