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LSU men and women hoops earn postseason spots

Monday, March 12, 2012 - 9:37pm

BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) - Brackets in hand, eyes glued to the screen, the LSU Lady Tiger basketball team eagerly awaited hearing their named called for the NCAA Tournament. Something that didn't happen a year ago.

It didn't take long for ESPN to announce that this year’s Lady Tigers were going dancing and Nikki Caldwell and company received a five seed in the field of 64.

"Watching the selection, we were pretty exciting and nervous at the same time. When they called our name we were happy and we have another chance to go at it," senior forward Courtney Jones said.

"I remember when coach first got here, she said I want to play in April, I remember that exact quote, I want to play in April. Sitting here today I'm happy to play with this group and happy for our coaching staff," senior LaSondra Barrett added after the Tigers saw their name on the jumbotron.

To make things even better, the Tigers will get a chance to advance to the Sweet 16 in front of the home crowd in the Maravich Center.

"There is no better feeling that playing in front of your home fans. We have special fans here," said Barrett.

Over on the men's side of things Trent Johnson and his gang are going dancing too. The Tigers were invited to the National Invitational Tournament where they will take on the Oregon Ducks.

"I think how it benefits our team is that we continue to play and get better. The benefits are immeasurable. It’s good for this group because they had a really, really bitter taste in their mouth," the head coach said just hours before leaving for Eugene.

The men's team found out they lived to play another game Sunday night, hopped on a plane Monday and play on Tuesday. Quick turnaround right?

"We will leave at 2:15, get on a charter plane and fly to Oregon, where we will catch a bus. They will have four hours of sleep and then we will practice. It doesn't get any better than that. I think it is really overrated when you start talking about last minute notice. They've had plenty of rest, two days off, they are excited to play. That other stuff doesn't matter," said Johnson.

Perhaps it doesn't matter. But playing in a postseason tournament does.


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