LSU’s inconsistent regular season and poor showing in the SEC tournament kept it out of the NCAA tournament. Ben Simmons and the Tigers will likely have to settle for a trip to the NIT instead.
One day after enduring an embarrassing 71-38 loss to Texas A&M in the SEC tournament, the NCAA selection committee left LSU (19-14) out of the 68-team tournament field on Sunday. Only SEC tournament champion Kentucky, runner-up Texas A&M and Vanderbilt will represent the SEC in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
LSU began the season with high hopes and landed at No. 21 in the preseason AP Top 25 poll. But the team labored through its non-conference slate and lost to teams like North Carolina State, Marquette, Charleston and Wake Forest.
The Tigers, who boast the 6-foot-10 Simmons, likely to be the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, rebounded with a solid start to its SEC schedule, even earning an 85-67 win over Kentucky on Jan. 5 during an 8-3 start in conference play. A 77-75 loss to then-No. 1 Oklahoma on Jan. 30, also showed LSU’s ability to play with national contenders. But the Tigers slipped with an untimely three-game losing streak in February.
The regular season ended with a 94-77 loss to Kentucky, and the hits kept coming when the Tigers were blown out by Texas A&M in Saturday’s tournament game.
LSU earned a No. 9 seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, snapping a streak of five-straight seasons without a bid. The Tigers haven’t advanced to a Sweet Sixteen since 2006.
Check out the entire 2016 NCAA Tournament bracket here.