James Tananan Kamnuedkhun
For the first time in over two seasons, the men’s basketball team will be going dancing this postseason.
It will be their first tournament appearance as a member of the GLVC and will be playing local rival UMSL to kick-off action. The team itself hasn’t made a conference tourney since the 2018-19 season, when they were in the MIAA.
The last time the team made the NCAA tournament was during the tenure of long-time Saint Louis University coach Brad Soderberg in 2011-12. There, they captured the national title in the Division II Transitional Tournament when they moved up from the NAIA. The team would be ineligible the next season due to NCAA rules regarding transition.
The program has only had one conference tournament win since they’ve made the transition from the NAIA to the MIAA, as they beat Pittsburgh State in 2016 in the first round. In their final season in the MIAA, the Lions would make the conference tournament, but would lose in the first round to a fellow GLVC team, Southwest Baptist.
The format of this year’s tournament will be a little different than normal. Instead of the tournament being held at one neutral site, lower seeds will travel to the higher seed’s home court to play each other due to COVID protocol. Because Lindenwood is the No. 7 overall seed, they will most likely have to travel for all of their games. If the stars align right for the Lions, they will have the chance to play the GLVC Championship on a home court if U Indy wins their first two games.
Lindenwood and UMSL have already met once this season, with the Lions earning an 84-72 road victory against a Tritons team that was ranked No. 25 at the time. T.J. Crockett tallied 28 points in the win. Their second matchup, which was scheduled for Feb. 18, was canceled and never rescheduled.
Tip-off for the rematch will be at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday from the Mark Twain Building at UMSL.