Men’s basketball: UTSA can clinch a first-round tournament bye by beating Temple

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The UTSA men’s basketball team has endured its share of tough breaks this season. Maybe the trend is shifting in the other direction.

Not only have the Roadrunners won three games in a row leading into today’s regular-season finale against the Temple Owls, but they also apparently have moved into position to control their own destiny and secure a first-round bye in the American Athletic Conference’s postseason tournament.

A few days ago, it appeared that the Roadrunners might have only an outside shot at avoiding being slotted into the bracket for a game Wednesday on Day 1 of the AAC tournament. Since then, a couple of opponents battling in close proximity to UTSA in the standings have stumbled.

On Friday night, the Wichita State Shockers lost at Tulane. On Saturday night, the Rice Owls lost at home to the University of North Texas Mean Green. Consequently, both the Shockers and the Owls have fallen into the bottom four in the AAC standings, while the Roadrunners have moved up to 10th.

Now, a Roadrunners victory Sunday at home against the Owls apparently will give them the 10th seed, an extra day to prepare and a tournament opener on Thursday. Instead of having to win five games in five days to reach the NCAA tournament, they’d get a more manageable four-in-four days task.

Senior Day

Sunday is Senior Day at the Convocation Center. The program is honoring Carlton Linguard Jr., Dre Fuller Jr. and Isaiah Wyatt, who have all played one season for the Roadrunners.

Linguard, a former standout at Stevens High School in San Antonio, returned home to the Alamo City after two seasons at Kansas State. After sitting out last season, the 7-footer appeared in 30 games with 21 starts. Linguard averaged 9.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.

Fuller, who grew up in North Carolina, played three seasons at Central Florida before sitting out last year while caring for his mother, who was ill. She passed away last spring. Fuller has averaged 9.5 points and 4.6 rebounds

Wyatt, from Ohio originally, played in high school in Texas at North Crowley. UTSA is his fourth school after he attended McLennan College, Southwestern Christian (in Texas) and NCAA Division II Chadron State, Neb. Wyatt, known as a perimeter shooting threat, has averaged 7.0 points and 3.4 rebounds.


Temple 11-19, 4-13
UTSA 11-19, 5-12

Coming up

The bracket for the American Athletic Conference tournament is expected to be finalized after the last two games of the regular season — Temple at UTSA and SMU at UAB — are played on Sunday afternoon. The five-day AAC tournament is scheduled to open Wednesday at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.

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