NATCHITOCHES, La —
Heading into play Saturday night, three former Jacksonville College Jaguars, two players and a coach, had a opportunity to be a part of NCAA March Madness 2013, which gets under way tonight with play-in games in Dayton, Ohio.
When the dust had settled and the final buzzer had sounded only one, Northwestern (La.) State University senior-forward Gary “Chuckie” Roberson could lay claim to being a part of what is affectionately known as “The Big Dance”.
Robertson's Demons upset Stephen F. Austin State University, 68-66, in front of 3,124 at the Merrell Center in Katy, Texas in Saturday's Southland Conference Men's Championship.
The Demons beat an SFA team that contained Nikola Gajic, a 2012 JC graduate.
Roberson, who donned the Jag uniform in 2009-11, scored six points and saw 12 minutes of action in the NSU win.
Gajic, also a reserve, played four minutes and was credited with an assist.
The Demons (23-8), a No. 14 seed, will open tournament play at 6:27 p.m. Friday in Austin against the Southeastern Conference's regular season champion Florida Gators.
Florida is 26-6 and is a No. 3 seed.
Former JC head men's basketball coach, Greg Young, now an assistant coach at Texas-Arlington, came very close to being able to join Roberson in March Madness.
Young's Mavericks fell victim to New Mexico State, 64-55, in the finals of the Western Athletic Conference tournament in Las Vegas, Nev. on Saturday and were forced to settle for a bid to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT), where they will host Oral Roberts University at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening.
NOTE: SFA also garnered an NIT berth and will play at Stanford (Palo Alto, Calif.) at 10 p.m. tonight. The Lumberjacks were the Southland Conference regular-season champions.