UWA Misses Playoffs Under "Equal Access" Rule

By: Louis Montesi, III
By: Louis Montesi, III

An unusual rule took away West Alabama's last hope of playing in the NCAA tournament.

A spokesperson for the UWA Athletic Department said the NCAA's "Earned Access" provision resulted in Tuskegee University, not UWA, facing North Alabama in the first round of the Division II Playoffs.

UWA finished sixth in NCAA Division II Super Region 2, but the rule says any conference not represented in the top six of a region gets to put one of its team in the playoffs if one of said teams is ranked 7th or 8th.

In this case, the Golden Tigers of Tuskegee (8-3), who finished 7th in the region, were the only team from the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to be ranked, guaranteeing them a playoff spot.

The Tigers finished 8-3 and won a share of the GSC Championship.

The Tigers earned their second consecutive conference title for the first time in school history.

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