Charleston claims first NCAA tourney bid since 1999

The College of Charleston rallied from a double-digit deficit in the second half Tuesday night to beat Northeastern 83-76 in overtime for the Colonial Athletic Association title.

As a result, the Cougars claimed their first NCAA tournament bid in 19 years.

Northeastern built a 42-25 lead with less than 18 minutes left in regulation in the game played at North Charleston, S.C.

But the Cougars refused to fold, and Joe Chealey led the way with 32 points.

Charleston hasn’t made the NCAA tournament since 1999.

In all five teams secured automatic bids on Tuesday, including the sixth-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs.

Gonzaza, an NCAA finalist last year, stormed past BYU 74-54 in Las Vegas.

Killian Tillie scored 22 as the Zags won their 30th game of the season and secured the West Coast Conference tournament championship trophy.

Elsewhere, in the Summit League, the South Dakota State Jackrabbits defeated South Dakota 97-87, at Sioux Falls, S.D.

LIU Brooklyn stunned favored Wagner 71-61 in New York to win the Northeast Conference title.

Also, Wright State won the Horizon League by pounding Cleveland State 74-57 at Detroit.

Conference / automatic qualifier

Ohio Valley — Murray State (26-5)

Missouri Valley – Loyola-Chicago (28-5)

Big Ten — Michigan (28-7)

Big South — Radford (22-12)

Atlantic Sun — Lipscomb (23-9)

Southern — UNC Greensboro (27-7)

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference — Iona (20-13)

West Coast Conference — Gonzaga (30-4)

Horizon — Wright State (25-9)

Northeast — LIU Brooklyn (18-16)

Colonial Athletic Association — Charleston (26-7)

Summit — South Dakota State (28-6)

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