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Gulf Coast Men’s Basketball still has a realistic shot at the state tournament

Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 9:32 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -At 5-11 in conference, the Gulf Coast Men’s Basketball team finished fourth in the Panhandle, well out of state playoff contention. Even in terms of the two at-large bids to be doled out Thursday.

However, due to an ugly brawl type incident last Saturday between Panhandle co-champ Tallahassee, and third place Pensacola, there now remains a realistic shot for Gulf Coast to get into the next week’s State Tournament. Pensacola has already withdrawn from state consideration, and there’s a belief Tallahassee will be forced to forfeit it’s berth because of the actions of its players Saturday night. If that happens Gulf Coast gets a state berth as league runner up. Even if TCC is allowed to play, Gulf Coast could go to state with the at large berth Pensacola was in line for.

“The seating committee is meeting tonight,” said Gulf Coast Men’s Basketball Coach, Phil Gaffney. “I think they will know for sure who the teams are for the tournament, both men’s and women’s. Then, we will have a good idea, so we still could get in, depending if they look at our strength of schedule, which is one of the tops in the whole country. I think the other day it was like seventh out of 144 teams, so if they look at that and say ‘Hey they played a super tough schedule, half of their games against top, nationally ranked teams.’ Obviously, I think that would help. If Tallahassee were somehow not to go, you know we’re not advocating for that, but if if that just happens to happen, they didn’t go, we would be automatically going and we would be excited.”

The Commodores have been waiting since the incident to find out what will happen.

“Now, it depends what happens with the State, or NJCAA,” said Gaffney, going on to say it is still up in the air.

“If Tallahassee ends up getting penalized, which we have no idea if that will happen, if it did happen then we would be the second team in the Conference and then we’d get an automatic berth, and with Pensacola out right now, we’ve moved up third, so we still have a chance to go.”

That other possibility comes with one of the two at-large berths that Pensacola was in line for. Gulf Coast’s case is the seventh best strength of schedule in the nation.

As for the Lady Commodores, they seem to be in for an at-large bid on the women’s side. 8-8 in league play, all eight losses to Northwest and Chipola, the two best teams in the state. Everything could be decided and announced early Thursday.

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