SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — The Texas State Bobcats are on a mission to earn the school’s first NCAA Tournament bid since 1997. The Bobcats finished the 2019-20 regular season with a 20-11 overall record, and finished 13-7 in Sun Belt conference play.
Texas State Head Coach Danny Kaspar, in his seventh season at the helm, has reached the NCAA Tournament as a head coach before, but not as the man in charge of the Bobcats.
“Going to the NCAA’s would be a very, very satisfying thing for myself, my staff, and my players,” Kaspar said. “There are high character people on this team, so I would love to see them rewarded with a trip to the NCAA’s. It would be a dream come true for me.”
Living life in a one-bid league, the only way for the Bobcats to capture an NCAA bid is if they win the Sun Belt Tournament Championship. Texas State is the No. 3 seed in the tournament bracket, opening the tournament with a home game against No. 6 Appalachian State Wednesday night.
“It would be a dream come true, Coach talks about it every day for us to establish our dreams, we need to stay mentally locked in each game,” senior forward Eric Terry said.
The Bobcats hope that the home court advantage will give them the edge, particularly if they have a raucous crowd.
“It’s gonna be fun, it’s gonna be special, hope the fanbase shows out and comes through,” senior guard Nijal Pearson said.
“We’re hopeful that there will be a good crowd here because when there is…we perform well,” Kaspar added.
Pearson won the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year award after averaging 19.3 points per game for the regular season. He is also Texas State’s all-time leading scorer.
“It’s been a journey since my freshman year, I didn’t win freshman player of the year for the conference so not to win it my freshman year and to keep grinding and keep working, slowly becoming the best player in the conference…it’s been a journey, it’s been special and I thank God,” Pearson said.
Pearson and the Bobcats will tip off against Appalachian State at Strahan Arena Wednesday at 7 p.m.