No bye? Then bye-bye, says SoCon history
By Jeff Hartsell
It's the Southern Conference's version of the Golden Ticket. If you want to enter college basketball's Chocolate Factory - the NCAA Tournament - you've got to have one.
A first-round bye in the SoCon Tournament, that is.
"I'm one of those guys who starts talking about that bye from the first day of practice," said Chattanooga coach John Shulman, whose team parlayed a first-round bye into a SoCon Tournament title and an automatic bid to the NCAAs last year. "To win the (SoCon) tournament, you must have one of those."
History proves Shulman right. No SoCon team ever has won four games in four days to claim the tournament title. And since the league introduced a quarterfinal round in 1993, only one squad has even made it to the title game without that first-round bye.
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