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Southern SWAC Champs After Living Through Bizarre Ending

Playing for a No. 16 seed is harder than it looks. Southern had to escape itself in the final minute to advance to the NCAA Tournament.


The Southern fans were dancing in the stands. The Jaguars held a seven-point lead with a little over a minute remaining. It looked for all the world like their team was going to breeze into the NCAA Tournament.

Only it wasn't so easy. Jules Montgomery converted a third attempt on a Prairie View possession into two points. Then Southern turned the ball over twice, leading to baskets by Carl Blair and Montrael Scott.

Suddenly this wasn't a clear win anymore. There were 42 second left and Southern led by just one.

And they missed. Like missed so badly that if the fans hadn't been consumed with anxiety for what would occur next, they would have been chanting air ball.

Jourdan DeMuynck rebounded the bad miss by Jameel Grace and began to run.

You have to know: DeMuynck was the rock that Prarie View was built on this season. He carried the major load on the offensive end. He shot most of of their shots. He might not have been the best shooter in the game, but as he went, so did the Panthers.

He drove the length of the floor, and wove through multiple defenders.

And then lost the ball in a jumble of bodies that splayed all over the court in Garland, Texas.

Southern was the SWAC champion, 45-44.

Now Southern won't be getting any great seed, not when you are the champion of the worst conference in college basketball. But they are good enough, better than enough teams, to not be playing in Dayton most likely.

SBNation's Chris Dobbertean has the Jaguars facing No. 1 seed Duke in their first tournament game, a reward for winning the battle of seven teams in Texas.

For now, they will take it though, led by Derick Beltran with 13 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals in the final. YonDarius Johnson added eight points off the bench.

DeMuynck had 15 points, nine rebounds and three assists for the Panthers, while Jules Montgomery added eight points, 12 boards and 2 blocks.