Marshall ends 31-year NCAA tournament dought

The Marshall Thundering Herd won the Conference USA basketball title Saturday night in Frisco, holding off Western Kentucky 67-66 in Frisco.

With the victory, the Herd qualified for the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1987.

Point guard Jon Elmore scored 27 points for the fourth-seeeded Herd (24-10).

Coach Dan D’Antoni’s team played well in the tournament, defeating the No. 5 UTSA Roadrunners, the No. 9 Southern Miss Golden Eagles and the No. 3 Hilltoppers on consecutive days at the Ford Center, in the Star.

Earlier this season, forecasters were projecting that both Middle Tennessee State and Western Kentucky would make the NCAA tournament out of the C-USA.

But both might now be looking at accepting bids from the less-prestigious NIT.

No. 1 Middle Tennessee (24-7) lost in the quarterfinals, and Western Kentucky (24-10) fell in the championship game despite scoring the last 11 points of the game.

Trailing by the eventual final score, the Hilltoppers missed two shots in the final 30 seconds.

Saturday’s scores

(Tournament finals)

Pac-12 — Arizona 75, USC 61

Western Athletic Conference — New Mexico State 72, Grand Canyon 58

Atlantic Coast Conference — Virginia 71, North Carolina 63

Southland Conference — Stephen F. Austin 59, Southeastern Louisiana 55

Conference USA — Marshall 67, Western Kentucky 66

Big Sky — Montana 82, Eastern Washington 65

Big East — Villanova 76, Providence 66, OT

Big 12 — Kansas 81, West Virginia 70

Mountain West — San Diego State 82, New Mexico 75

MAC — Buffalo 76, Toledo 66

America East – Maryland-Baltimore County 65, Vermont 62

MEAC — North Carolina Central 71,, Hampton 63

SWAC — Texas Southern 84, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 69


(Virginia is expected to be a No. 1 regional seed in the NCAA tournament, possibly the first overall).

Conference / NCAA 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)

Patriot League — Bucknell (25-9)

America East — Maryland-Baltimore County (24-10)

MEAC — North Carolina Central (19-15)

SWAC — Texas Southern (15-19)

Big 12 — Kansas (27-7)

Mountain West — San Diego State (22-10)

Big East — Villanova (30-4)

MAC — Buffalo (26-8)

Conference USA — Marshall (24-10)

Southland — Stephen F. Austin (28-6)

Atlantic Coast — Virginia (31-2)

Big Sky — Montana (26-7)

Western Athletic Conference — New Mexico State (28-5)

Pac-12 — Arizona (27-7)

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