San Antonio – Win and they’re in. It’s that simple for the St. Mary’s men’s basketball team this Saturday.
With a trip to the Heartland Conference Tournament at stake, the Rattlers will host Heartland Conference-leading Texas A&M International at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Bill Greehey Arena.
Meanwhile, the St. Mary’s women’s basketball team has already punched its ticket to the tournament, held March 4-5 at Bill Greehey Arena.
For the men, a win would clinch St. Mary’s either the third or fourth seed in the tournament, while a loss could leave it having to win a play-in game in order to qualify for the tournament.
Following Texas-Permian Basin’s victory over Dallas Baptist on Monday, the Rattlers (14-11, 6-5) moved past DBU and into a tie with Newman for one of the final two spots.
A&M International leads the conference with an 8-3 record, while UTPB is 7-4. Newman and St. Mary’s each have five losses, while DBU is 5-6.
If DBU loses its season-ending game to Oklahoma Panhandle State on Feb. 26, St. Mary’s wouldn’t even have to beat Texas A&M International to clinch the final spot in the conference tournament. Should DBU win, however, St. Mary’s would need to beat A&M International in order to prevent the need for a play-in game.
If necessary, the play-in game would be held at 7 p.m. March 3 at Bill Greehey Arena.
St. Mary’s can also still clinch something higher than the fourth seed.
The Lady Rattlers (14-11, 6-3) host Texas A&M International at 2 p.m. Saturday in a game that can only impact seeding. They are currently seeded third. Newman, Texas-Permian Basin and St. Edward’s have all also clinched their spots in the tournament, leaving little suspense entering the final weekend of regular-season action on the women’s side.
The Heartland Conference Tournament schedule is as follows:
Fri., March 4: 12 p.m. (Women’s Semifinals, 1-4 seeds); 2:30 p.m. (Women’s Semifinals, 2-3 seeds); 5 p.m. (Men’s Semifinals, 1-4 seeds); 7:30 p.m. (Women’s Semifinals, 2-3 seeds).
Sat., March 5: 2 p.m. (Women’s Championship Game); 5 p.m. (Men’s Championship Game).