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Monson: Southern overcomes huge obstacles to get to NCAAs
College basketball » Though short on scholarships, Jaguars grit their way to postseason

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Southern hopes to get back a full stock of scholarships — 13 — after this season.

"To get to this point, I thought it would be a four- or five-year period," Banks said. "Actually, we still have a lot of work to do, but we will enjoy this one along the way."

At a glance

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Even if they are playing Gonzaga, a team that precedent says will crush them. Ironically enough, Banks has used the Zags as an example of inspiration for his players since before the season started. When the Jaguars drew the Bulldogs in their first tournament game, his players turned to him collectively and said, "Coach, Gonzaga?"

"They are a true example of what we’re trying to do at Southern University," Banks said. He added, though, that in regard to talent and technique, the teams aren’t that far apart.

"When you watch their program and how they play, we’re similar in many ways," he said. "I think they have bigger size and some quality players, but you know, a lot of times as we are watching them and scouting them, we try to do some of the same things. It will be a great contest for us."

No, it won’t.

Say a prayer, then, for the Southern Jaguars.

They’re trying real hard to do the impossible, to do that which never has been done, and do it the right way. No matter what happens against No. 1, it will be better than the road they’ve already traveled.

Gordon Monson hosts "The Big Show" with Spence Checketts weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 97.5 FM and 1280 and 960 AM The Zone. Twitter: @GordonMonson.

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