Gouard ‘relieved’ USI basketball received at-large bid

Sports

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Southern Indiana head coach Stan Gouard could finally sleep easy Sunday night after learning his Screaming Eagles’ season isn’t over yet.

Southern Indiana received an at-large bid in the DII NCAA Tournament on Sunday, earning the No. 3 seed in the Midwest Region. His team will be matched up against Lewis in the first round.

Gouard admitted he was skeptical of his team’s chances of getting into the tournament. USI opted out of the GLVC Tournament because of positive COVID-19 cases, forfeiting the chance of clinching an automatic bid.

He said he and his coaching staff have been following the last several weeks closely, and Sunday’s news was a weight off his shoulders.

“I was relieved,” Gouard said. “It was a tough couple days because of everything leading up to the tournament. We missed our last five games, we opted out of the conference tournament. We start to second-guess the decision we made, but we only had six healthy bodies. So fortunately for us, we had a great strength of schedule, and it got us in the tournament. So we’re really excited to be here right now.”

Even better for USI, it will get the chance to compete in its home city. Southern Indiana is hosting the Midwest Region at the Ford Center. The Screaming Eagles will tip-off against Lewis at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 13.

(This story was originally published on March 8, 2021)

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