Opinion: Wave can start miracle run to NCAA tournament this weekend

Opinion%3A+Wave+can+start+miracle+run+to+NCAA+tournament+this+weekend

Mackenna Barker, Associate Sports Editor

Tulane men’s basketball (15-15, 6-12 American Athletic Conference) had a roller coaster of a season. Picked to finish last in the AAC in most preseason poll, expectations were initially low. The Wave, however, came bursting out of the gate at the beginning of the year, starting off the season 13-5 and sat No. 3 in the AAC standings.

As the season rolled into late January, the Wave underwent a turnaround. Suffering a scoring drought that caused the team to drop 10 of its last 12 games, Tulane fell back to the bottom half of the league and earned the No. 7 seed in the tournament.

After witnessing these two different sides of the Wave, it will be interesting to see how it fares in the conference tournament. Junior guard Louis Dabney will occasionally hit hot streaks as he did in a 76-55 loss against Tulsa Feb. 25 when he scored 32 points.

The Wave can not, however, depend on outbursts from just one player. The Wave’s other scorers, including senior guard Jay Hook and sophomore guard Jonathan Stark, have to score at will too.

This Tulane team clearly has talent. The roster is stacked with guards and its young players hold a lot of promise. As seen in the last half of this season, however, none of this matters if the Wave simply can not score.

The Wave heads to Hartford, Connecticut this week to compete in the AAC tournament. Its first round opponent will be No. 10 seed Houston (12-18, 4-14 AAC). Tulane beat Houston 68-55 Jan. 17 in Houston but lost 68-63 in overtime March. 4 at Devlin. 

Tulane’s only chance of making it to the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament is by winning the conference tournament and earning an automatic bid. Truthfully, this is highly unlikely but if the Wave can hit its stride early on in the first game of the tournament, the Wave can embark on a miracle run and maybe even shock the world.

Tulane will start the AAC tournament against Houston 5 p.m. Thursday. The game will be televised on ESPNews.