Southern Miss men’s basketball to play for regular season title Friday night

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 11:28 AM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - It all comes down to the final regular season game of the season.

Friday night, the Southern Miss men’s basketball program has a chance to claim a share of the 2022-2023 Sun Belt regular season title or the title outright under specific implications on the road against Texas State in San Marcos thanks to their best conference start in program history.

After winning just seven games in the 2021-2022 season, fourth-year head coach and a member of the 1987 National Invitation Tournament championship-winning Southern Miss squad Jay Ladner has revitalized the hoops culture in Hattiesburg, and could complete the most unlikely turnaround in college basketball with a win against the Bobcats.

The Golden Eagles will take on Texas State for the second time this season, beating the Bobcats in their first meeting this year at Reed Green Coliseum in January.

With a victory, Southern Miss will guarantee a share of the regular season championship in the Sun Belt with Marshall Thundering Herd. However, a win won’t come easy.

All six games the Golden Eagles have lost this year have been away from home. In the previous meeting against Texas State, it took converted free throws from the black-and-gold with under 45 seconds left to play to secure the victory in Hattiesburg.

Marshall, who is tied for the top spot in the Sun Belt with Southern Miss, will host Old Dominion Friday night, the team that just beat Southern Miss Wednesday night.

If Marshall loses and Southern Miss wins, the Golden Eagles will claim sole possession of the 2022-2023 Sun Belt regular season championship and clinch a trip to the NIT.

Regardless of the results Friday night, the turnaround from Coach Ladner, his staff, and his players is nothing short of spectacular, currently sitting on 24 wins and two wins away from tying the NCAA record for the biggest turnaround in wins and losses across two seasons.

The Golden Eagles are also undefeated at home with a 15-0 record this season for the first time since the 2011-2012 season.

The game against Texas State will begin at 7 p.m. and will be streamed on ESPN Plus.

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