Ticket Punched: Perhaps Northwestern State has another madness moment in store for third time dancing

Kyle Ringo
The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Northwestern State hasn't been to the NCAA tournament since 2006 when it knocked off No. 3 seeded Iowa on an off-balance 3-pointer from deep in the corner by Jermaine Wallace in the final second.

The Demons earned a return trip, the third in their history, on Saturday by upsetting Stephen F. Austin 68-66 in the championship game of the Southland Conference. The teams had split two games in the regular season.

It was an interesting matchup pitting the nation's highest scoring team, the Demons, against the nation's best defensive team.

Northwestern State was facing a possible game-winning shot attempt by Stephen F. Austin with 5 seconds remaining, but DeQuan Hicks stole an errant pass and prevented any chance at a game-winning shot and the Demons' NCAA tournament dream from being ripped away at the buzzer.

Northwestern State enters the tournament with a 23-8 overall record but lacking a win over a ranked team or an opponent from a power conference. It's best victory of the season might have been the two it earned against Stephen F. Austin. That means the Demons will once again be huge underdogs in every game they play the rest of the way.

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