It might not be the trip they were hoping for, but McNeese State is headed back to Toledo later this month.
The Cowboys will travel to the University of Toledo for this year’s BracketBuster game on Saturday, Feb. 23.
They should know the trip well. Last year, the Cowboys season ended in Toledo with a 76-63 loss to the Rockets in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament in the first-ever meeting between the schools.
“We played them last season in the CIT and didn’t do to well,” said head coach Dave Simmons. “We’re looking forward to going back up to their place and accepting a challenge against a good ball team.”
This is expected to be the last year for such an event in which squares two teams from different conferences play. The hope was to raise the profile of bubble teams from smaller leagues when it comes to the NCAA Tournament.
It will be tough for either of these teams to make a run at the postseason this spring.
Last year, McNeese did use a win over Southeast Missouri State in the BracketBuster to get on a late-season roll that led to a surprise postseason berth.
Five current McNeese players played significant minutes in that game.
Desharick Guidry and Adrian Fields scored 11 points each to lead the Cowboys against Toledo last season while Jeremie Mitchell added 10 points, Dontae Cannon 8 and Kevin Hardy 7.
Like the Cowboys, the Rockets have had an up-and-down season. They opened up losing six of their first eight games.
A member of the Mid-American Conference, Toledo has won three-straight games and sits in second place in the MAC West Division at 5-3.
The Rockets have the MAC’s top scorer in Rian Pearson with 18.2 points per game. Only one other player averages double-figures for Toledo, Julius Brown averages 13.7 points per game.
Two Southland Conference teams were selected for ESPN broadcasts.
Toledo will make a return trip to Lake Charles next season as part of the agreement.