Two more conferences will be completing their regular seasons today, as the Metro Atlantic and America East regular seasons come to a close. However, today’s SCGD does not come from either of them. Rather, we turn to a non-conference matchup at 3:00 PM Eastern from Edinburg, Texas as the Texas-Pan American Broncs will be hosting the New Orleans Privateers.
Two years ago, the University of New Orleans was supposed to be playing its final season in Division I. After years of membership in the Sun Belt Conference, the university concluded that it could no longer afford to keep its sports programs in Division I. Originally, they announced that they would be dropping down to D3, then changed their minds and announced they would go to D2 instead. They proceeded to play the 2011-12 season as a Division II program. Then, once again, the school changed its mind. After the 11-12 season, UNO announced that they had decided to remain at Division I after all. As the Privateers had not yet completed their transition down to D2, they did become a fully eligible Division I program this season. However, they play as an Independent this season before they will join the Southland Conference next year.
UNO’s season started out with a victory in their very first game back at the D1 level, defeating San Jose State 72-68. Since that game, they have registered 7 more wins, though four of those were against non-Division I foes. One of their D1 wins was a home victory over Great West member Texas-Pan American back on February 6. This afternoon, those two teams meet again in New Orleans’ final game of the 2012-13 season.
Texas-Pan American enters the game today at 14-15 overall, and sitting in second place in the Great West Conference behind NJIT. The only postseason hope for UTPA is in the collegeinsider.com tournament, which gives an automatic bid to the Great West tournament champion. However, UTPA is set to join the WAC next season where they will be able to compete for an NCAA bid. The Broncs do have one more regular season game after today, hosting NJIT next weekend in a game that may decide the GWC regular season title. They will then advance the following week to the Great West tournament. However, the story for today’s SCGD is the completion of the first season back in Division I for the New Orleans Privateers, who will be trying to finish the year as they started it — with a victory.