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College basketball: Area teams set for tournaments

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The LSU Tigers (22-10), seeded No. 9 in the East Region, begin play in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Thursday night at 8:20 against No. 8 North Carolina State (20-13) in Pittsburgh. The game will be broadcast on TBS.

The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Northwestern State Demons and Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks are also in postseason men’s tournaments. The Northwestern State Lady Demons earned a bid to the NCAA Women’s Tournament by winning the Southland Conference Tournament.

The Bulldogs (26-8) defeated Central Michigan 89-79 in the first round of the NIT Tuesday night at the Thomas Assembly Center.

Tech won the regular-season Conference USA title but lost to host Alabama-Birmingham 72-62 in overtime in the semifinals of the conference tournament last week.

The Northwestern State Demons (19-12) host Tennessee-Martin (18-12) in the first round of the Collegebasketballinsider.com Tournament at 6:30 on Thursday at Prather Coliseum.

The Demons, who lead the nation in scoring at 84.1 points per game, lost to eventual champion Stephen F. Austin 91-79 in the semifinals of the Southland Conference Tournament last week.

Northwester State junior guard Jalan West, a former Bossier High standout, is averaging 19.6 points, 7.7 assists and 2.1 steals per game.

Another former Bossier High star, freshman Devonte Hall, has contributed to the team’s success. Hall, who has played in all 31 games, is third on the team with 31 steals. He averages 5.1 points and 1.7 assists.

Louisiana-Monroe (21-12) will host Eastern Michigan (21-13) at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational

The Northwestern State Lady Demons (19-14) drew a No. 15 seed and will face No. 2 Baylor (30-3) on Friday at 1:30 in Waco, Texas.

— Staff Reports