By McNeese SID Matthew Bonnette:
LAKE CHARLES – McNeese State's men's and women's basketball teams will head into the 2014 Southland Conference Basketball Tournament as No. 7 seeds – the Cowboys going up against 6th-seed Oral Roberts at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday while the Cowgirls will face No. 6 A&M-Corpus Christi at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Games will be played at the Merrell Center in Katy, Texas. Ticket booklets, which cover every men's and women's tournament games, are on sale at the McNeese State ticket office for $75. McNeese students will be admitted free with a valid student I.D.
The Cowboys (11-19, 9-9 SLC) will be making their fourth straight appearance in the postseason and a conference-record 27th overall appearance. This will be the first time the Cowboys will be playing as the No. 7 seed. The seventh-seed has won the tournament three times since 2000 with the most recent being in 2011 when UTSA beat the top-seeded Cowboys in the finals.
McNeese entered last year's tournament as the No. 8 seed and advanced to the second round before falling to Southeastern Louisiana. The Cowboys have won a league record 23 tournament games and have won two tournament championships (1989, 2002) with three runner-up spots (2001, 2011, 2012). The five championship game appearances ranks tied for the third-most among active league teams.
The Cowboys have compiled a 6-5 record in five tournament appearances in seven years under head coach Dave Simmons. McNeese is 3-1 in first round games under Simmons; 0-1 in second rounds games; 2-1 in the semifinals; and 0-2 in championship games.
The Cowgirls (17-12, 10-8 SLC) will be making their fourth straight tournament appearance and 15th overall.
McNeese was the fifth-seed in last year's tournament and advanced to the semifinals where it fell to eventual champion Oral Roberts.
The Cowgirls have compiled a 12-12 overall record in the tournament and won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012. McNeese also finished as the runner-up in the inaugural tournament season of 1983.
In six previous tournaments under head coach Brooks Donald-Williams, the Cowgirls have compiled an 8-3 record, tied with Lamar for the most wins during that span.
Should the Cowboys defeat Oral Roberts, they'll play at 7:30 on Thursday against No. 3 Sam Houston State in the second round. The team that advances to the semifinals in McNeese's half of the bracket would face No. 2-seed A&M-Corpus Christi at 7:30 on Friday. The championship game will be played at 7:30 on Saturday and will be broadcast on ESPN2.