The XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, hosted a heavyweight title fight between the SMU Mustangs and the Connecticut Huskies on Sunday, March 15. Jumping in front of UConn early, SMU dominated the defending NCAA champions 62-54 to win the American Athletic Conference tournament and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Seeded sixth, the Mustangs (27-6) face UCLA (20-13) on Thursday, March 19 in Louisville in their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1993. A year ago, SMU was left out of the field after losing to Houston in the AAC quarterfinals.
In his third season with SMU, Head Coach Larry Brown will make his first appearance in the NCAA tournament since he coached Kansas to a national title in 1988. As the only coach to win an NCAA trophy and an NBA title, Brown previously took UCLA to the NCAA tournament twice and Kansas five times before heading to the NBA and later SMU.
NCAA: SMU men’s soccer fell to Tulsa 5-0 on Sunday, Nov. 11 in the 2012 C-USA Championship game. Despite the loss, senior T.J. Nelson, junior Juan Castillo and sophomore Andrew Morales were all named to the C-USA Championship All-Tournament team. The Mustangs will play again Thursday, Nov. 15 against Winthrop in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Winthrop is in the Big South Conference and SMU has never faced them before. The game is at 7 p.m. at Westcott Field, and there is a $2 entry special to anyone who brings two canned food items to the ticket office for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee’s “Let’s SAAC Hunger” program.
C-USA Championship: SMU volleyball has C-USA championship play this weekend, Nov.16-18; the Mustangs were able to advance to the championship despite falling to Rice on Sunday. SMU travels to Oklahoma to face No. 1 seed Tulsa at noon Friday, Nov. 16. Afterward, the team returns home for the last two matches of the season. Senior Courtney Manning and sophomore Caroline Young have been named to the C-USA All-Conference team; senior Olivia Bailey was named to the conference’s All-Academic Team.
Men: SMU men’s basketball travels to Fort Worth to play TCU Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. This is the 188th matchup between SMU and TCU; when they met last season, SMU won 68-62. The Mustangs play away again on Saturday, Nov. 17 versus Texas State at 7 p.m. and then return home for a game Monday, Nov. 19 against Malone at 8 p.m. in Moody Coliseum.
Women: SMU women’s basketball plays North Texas Thursday, Nov. 15. SMU is 27-16 all-time against North Texas and currently 2-0 for their season. Thursday’s game is at 7 p.m. in Moody Coliseum and the women will play at home again, Monday, Nov. 19 against Arkansas-Little Rock at 5:30 p.m.
Gone so soon? After an amazing 16-2-2 season and a final NSCAA National Ranking of No. 7, the Mustang men’s soccer team suffered a short postseason as they lost to UNC in the NCAA quarterfinals on penalty kicks after tying the Tar Heels 1-1 in regulation on Saturday, Dec. 3. Junior midfielder Arthur Ivo(pictured) broke the ice early in the game as he scored within the fifth minute. Goalkeeper Craig Hill made three impeccable saves in regulation but was ultimately unable to prevent four converted penalty kicks in the shootout.
SMU downs Grambling State: After a slow start to the season, Men’s Basketball Head Coach Matt Doherty has to be feeling pretty good about his Mustangs, who have won four out of their last five and are now back above .500 at 5-4 this season. SMU added to their win record with a sharp 71-51victory over Grambling State on Saturday, Dec. 4. Junior forward Robert Nyakundi scored 22 points and senior forward Papa Dia added 20 in the victory. SMU was 14 of 22 from the field (63.6%) and took a 40-23 lead into halftime. The Mustangs get a break for studying, with their next game (at McMurry in Abilene) taking place on Dec. 18.
Remembering a great: Legendary football quarterback, television broadcaster and noted SMU alum Don Meredith (pictured) died of a brain hemorrhage on Sunday, Dec. 3 at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was 72. Born April 10, 1938, in Mount Vernon, Texas, Meredith was a two-time All-America selection (1958 and 1959) on the Hilltop, setting a Southwest Conference record with 69.6 completion percentage in 1957. The Chicago Bears then selected Meredith in the third round of the 1960 NFL Draft, but traded him to a young Dallas Cowboys franchise for future draft picks. “Dandy Don” was stellar through his nine-year career with the Cowboys, leading the team to three straight division championships and two NFL Championship games following the 1966 and 1967 seasons. He was inducted into the Cowboys “Ring of Honor” in 1976, and his name can still be found in the renovated Ring at the new Cowboys Stadium. Meredith had a wildly successful second career with Frank Gifford and Howard Cosell as an analyst on ABC’s “Monday Night Football.” He retired in 1984 after broadcasting Super Bowl XIX. Meredith also received the Pro Football Hall of Fame‘s 2007 Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award. Funeral arrangements are pending.