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2016 NCAA tournament preview: Southern Jaguars

Southern Jaguars

Record: 22-12 (11-7 SWAC)

Head Coach: Roman Banks (5th season)

Season Recap: For the second time in the past four seasons, the Jaguars are back in the Big Dance after knocking off top-seeded Texas Southern en route to the SWAC tournament title. In its non-conference slate, Southern proved its worth early on as it upset Mississippi State on the road in addition to a pair of wins against mid-majors Tulane and Wyoming. 

The Jaguars carried their winning ways into the conference portion of their schedule, ripping off 10 wins in 11 games after starting 0-2 in SWAC play. Southern utilizes a truly balanced offense with five players averaging 9.6 points per game or more—including four who have started at least 32 of its 34 games. 6-foot-4 senior guard Adrian Rodgers leads the Jaguars in points at 16.6 per contest and adds 5.4 rebounds per game—second-best behind only big man Jared Sam.

How they make a run: Just like Southern did in 2012, the Jaguars step their game up against a top seed and rely on stellar defense—they held top-seeded Gonzaga to just 64 points and have allowed an average of just 69.0 points per game to opponents this season—to get past Holy Cross in the play-in game and earn a shot at top-seeded Oregon.

How they falter: As often happens to automatic qualifiers, Southern is overwhelmed in the first round and is simply unable to advance past the first game. Its three-game winning streak comes to a quick end and the Jaguars are sent back to Baton Rouge, La.

Mitchell Gladstone | Sports Managing Editor

Twitter: @mpgladstone13

A junior from just outside Philadelphia, Mitchell is probably reminding you how the Eagles won the Super Bowl this year and that the Phillies are definitely on the rebound. Outside of The Chronicle, he majors in Economics, minors in Statistics and is working toward the PJMS certificate, in addition to playing trombone in the Duke University Marching Band. And if you're getting him a sandwich with beef and cheese outside the state of Pennsylvania, you best not call it a "Philly cheesesteak." 


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