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Ole Miss, USM earn 1st-round byes

[03/05/01] Ole Miss and Southern Mississippi earned first-round byes and Alcorn State will get to play its first conference tournament game at home.

The Braves will host archrival Jackson State Tuesday night at 7:30 in the first round of the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament. Alcorn and Mississippi Valley get to play at home because they finished in the top four in the SWAC. The conference’s “final four” will be in Birmingham Friday and Saturday.

Ole Miss, which wrapped up the Southeastern Conference’s Western Division crown on Saturday, will face the Auburn-Tennessee winner at noon Friday in Nashville.

The Rebels swept Auburn and beat Tennessee once this season.

Southern Miss, which won Conference USA’s National Division Saturday and earned a No. 2 seed, meets the Saint Louis-Houston winner Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in Louisville, Ky.

USM beat the Billikens twice and the Cougars once this season.

Mississippi State, which will likely need to win the SEC tournament to earn an NCAA Tournament bid, face South Carolina at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday. The Bulldogs beat the Gamecocks Saturday, 77-73.

Former Warren Central coach Lloyd Clark led the Delta State Lady Statesmen (30-2) to their third straight Gulf South Conference tournament title with a 60-52 win over Arkansas Tech. DSU will host the NCAA Division II South Regional, Thursday through Saturday. In the men’s final, DSU fell to Henderson State 63-53.