March Madness: Roadrunner Style

March Madness: Roadrunner Style

In what can only be described simply as March Madness, UTSA outplayed the best team in the Western Athletic Conference on Thursday to advance to the semifinals of the tournament.

UTSA used incredible focus, intensity, and execution to knock off the #1 seed Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 73-67on Thursday night in the second round of the Western Athletic conference Tournament.

"It was a total team effort," said Head Coach Brooks Thompson. "We rebounded the ball, we guarded them, we executed our game plan to perfection. "

The win is historic in nature as it is just the second time in the history of the WAC that a #9 seed has beat a #1 seed.

"That's the beauty of March," said Kannon Burrage, who led all scorers with 26 points. "Everybody in our locker room believes we can get this thing done. We believe we can do it."

La Tech used an intense full court press to try to pressure UTSA, a strategy that has worked for them in the past. But it didn't on Thursday.

"Early on we weren't ball tough," said Thompson. "As the game went on our guys got more comfortable. We handled it pretty good and that was the difference in the game."

UTSA shot 46% from the field for the game but had a hot second half that saw them convert at the 54% clip.

"You can't be scared to play," said Michael Hale III. "We just have to stay together. As long as we stay together, we can do a lot. I think we've done that all year."

Burrage specifically hit some big shots, including 5 three pointers.

"I was getting open shots," said Burrage." I was feeling good. Everybody was working the ball around. That led to open shots."

With the #1 and #2 seeds both eliminated from the tournament (Texas State beat Denver), the WAC Championship is wide open.

"We've been here before. Our guys know that. This isn't new to us, we've won conference tournaments before and that's our goal to do right now," said Thompson. "Obviously we're excited but we're focused in on tomorrow. There's no doubt about it we're going to have a tough game."

UTSA will next face UT Arlington in the semifinals matchup on Friday.

It's just going to be mental fortitude and toughness," said Thompson. "These guys don't want to go home. That's the truth."

UTSA's run in conference tournament is as improbable as one can imagine.

"It's been a tough year for a group of great kids," said Thompson. "Tonight their hard work paid off. They've come every day and worked. They've got great character, I'm very proud of each and every one of them."

The ‘Runners will square off against #4 seed UT Arlington on Friday night. Tip off is scheduled for 10 pm

Note: UTSA's win Thursday was just the second time in WAC tournament history that a #9 seed has beaten a #1 seed. The last time occurred in 1990 when Air Force beat Colorado State.

InsideRunnerSports.com Recommended Stories