Tarleton State MBB earns double bye to semifinals as 2nd seed, WBB earns 7th seed in first WAC Tournament Appearance


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STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton State Men’s Basketball has earned the second seed in the 2024 WAC Tournament and Texan Women’s Basketball will be making their first appearance entering the tournament as the seventh overall seed, the league announced on Sunday.

For the first time in just their second year eligible, Tarleton State’s Men and Women’s basketball programs will both be heading to the WAC Tournament at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The men will receive a double-bye and play their first game at 10:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. PT on Friday in the semifinals. The game will be a nationally televised game on ESPNU. Bill Brock’s squad will play their first game on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. CT / 2:30 p.m. PT, against the sixth-seeded Abilene Christian Wildcats.

After earning the two-round bye, Tarleton will play their first game in the semifinals, one win away from earning a bid to the WAC title bout. Friday night’s contest will be a nationally televised contest at 10:30 CT on ESPNU, the first Tarleton men’s basketball game to be on the ESPN family of linear networks. Due to Tarleton State being in its fourth year of reclassification, the Texans are ineligible to compete in any NCAA postseason tournament which includes the NCAA March Madness Tournament and the NIT. In the case the Texans win the title, Grand Canyon will earn the WAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament due to holding the highest WAC Resume Seed after the regular season.

“It’s a great honor,” said men’s acting head coach Joseph Jones about earning the second seed. “It is a testament to how hard the players have worked since getting on campus. They believed since the beginning that they could achieve great things and have believed in each other that they could get it done. We still have a race to run but I believe they will complete the race in the best way possible like they have all season.”

Jones’ squad carries a 6-0 record against the three Texas-based programs this season that they could potentially play in the semifinal match. The sixth-seeded SFA Lumberjacks will take on the seventh-seeded ACU Wildcats with the winner advancing to Thursday night for a date with UT Arlington. Tarleton will play the winner of Thursday night’s contest.

“Our players and staff are very excited about the upcoming WAC Tournament,” Brock said. “I am so glad our players will be able to have this experience of playing in Las Vegas.”

Coach Brock will take the Texans to their first Women’s WAC Tournament appearance. Brock’s squad ended the regular season with a win at Seattle U to clinch their berth in the tournament. Brock’s squad split the season series with ACU earlier this season with each team winning at home. The Texans won the last meeting, 74-66 in Stephenville.

Tarleton’s number two seed is the best this season of any current reclassifying team. The Texans’ 16 conference wins are the most by a reclassifying team since at least 2010. The Purple and White’s 23 overall wins are the most by a program in reclassification since Grand Canyon’s 27-win campaign in the 2015-16 season and the second most since 2010.

Tarleton WBB will make their first appearance in the WAC Tournament in its second year of eligibility. The Texans were 14-16 in Lone Star Conference Tournament games in Division II before reclassifying to Division I and joining the WAC in 2020. The Texans only met ACU once in an LSC Tournament game, an 81-68 victory for the Wildcats.

Jones will lead his squad to the postseason after winning 11 of his last 12 contests. TSU closed the regular season with a 69-66 victory over Seattle U in Wisdom Gym on Saturday afternoon. Jones’ 21 wins makes him the winningest coach to have not started the season at the helm of the program but is the current active head coach.

Brock’s squad ended the season on their best four-game stretch of the season, winning three of the final four matchups. The Texans won a pair at home and split last week’s road trip with a win over Seattle U after a loss to Utah Valley earlier on the trip.

The WAC Tournament will span from March 13-16 with men’s and women’s games on each day. Women’s games will be played at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. local time (PT) with the men’s games concluding the night at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. local time (PT) on each day except the championship game. The women’s championship game will be held at 10:30 a.m. PT on Saturday on ESPNU. The men’s title bout will be on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. PT on ESPN2. All games will be held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Tarleton has tournament passes that grant access to all men’s and women’s games at the WAC Tournament on sale for just $100. To purchase, click here.

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