Unlikely qualifier Holy Cross plays Southern in First Four

FILE- In this March 9, 2016, file photo, Lehigh guard Kahron Ross, left, has the ball knocked away from him by Holy Cross forward Karl Charles (1) during the first half of the NCAA college basketball Patriot League Championship game at Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pa. Holy Cross is one of eight teams whose tournaments are starting a little bit before the first round of the college basketball NCAA Tournament officially opens Thursday, March 17. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)
AP

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) NCAA Tournament teams don't come much more unlikely than Holy Cross, which finished the season with a 14-19 record.

Yet the Crusaders will play Southern University (22-12) in a First Four game Wednesday night, by virtue of winning four games on the road and becoming the Patriot League tournament champs.

Holy Cross, in Worcester, Massachusetts, managed only a 5-13 mark in regular season league games.

Southern, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was ineligible for post-season play the past two years because of a problem with grade reports. It earned an automatic bid when it beat Jackson State in the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament.

The Jaguars rebounded after losing four of their last five regular season games.

The winner moves on the play No. 1 seed Oregon.