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Tough road ahead for men’s basketball

02/13/2014

Last season JSU’s men’s basketball team finished 17-11, but a postseason ban forced the Gamecocks to not qualify for the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.

A year later, with postseason restrictions lifted, JSU was positioned for another solid season and grabs a mid-range seed in the OVC tournament, the path for OVC schools to appear in the NCAA Tournament.

However, after their current three-game skid, the Gamecocks sit at just 10-16 overall and only 4-7 in conference play.

With only five games left in the regular season, JSU is in serious danger of missing out on the eight-team OVC tournament
altogether. The 4-7 conference mark has Jax State tied with Southeast Missouri State for ninth in the standings.

Both teams are just a half game behind Austin Peay, who sits in the final tourney spot in eighth.

It’s not much ground to make up, but JSU is heading into a rigorous final stretch with their final three home games coming against the top three teams in the East division: Belmont, Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky.

Belmont is the season finale on March 1, so if the season comes down to the final game, it will come against by far the top team in the conference.

The other two road games to close out the season will be against SEMO, which will be critical for JSU to possibly knock out a team fighting for the same spot, and Tennessee Tech, who JSU just lost to by 12 last Saturday at home.

On the flip side, while JSU is in a must-win situation in every game from now and playing stiff competition, other bubble teams like Austin Peay and Eastern Illinois are playing out the season with much more favorable schedules.

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