There’s apparently bad blood between LSU and Louisiana Lafayette, two public universities 57 miles apart in The Pelican State.
Well, if there wasn’t before this week, there certainly is now. The two Louisiana programs drew each other in a first-round NIT matchup Wednesday. LSU (No. 3) pulled a higher seed than ULL (No. 6) which came with home-court advantage and prompted ULL coach Bob Marlin to trash the Tigers and their facilities ahead of the game.
“Our RPI is much better, our record is much better, we feel like our gym’s better; there are a lot of things that say we should be a higher seed than we were,” Marlin said Monday.
“There’s a lot of the old-school guys on that [NIT selection] committee that just think LSU’s better than we are. They haven’t seen our facilities or looked at the fine print about our team.”
LSU entered the game with a 17-14 record playing an SEC schedule while ULL went 27-6 coming out of the Sun Belt.
It turned out that LSU was actually the better team, at least on Wednesday night. LSU pulled out an 84-76 win complete with a late timeout and some words from LSU coach Will Wade with the game in hand that Marlin did not seem to appreciate.
Will Wade timeout. Yells at Bob Marlin. Oh boy. pic.twitter.com/KuufTDR9fv
— Cody Worsham (@CodyWorsham) March 15, 2018
We’re not sure what Wade said there, but we’re guessing it was along the lines of “How you like these facilities now, coach?”
But that wasn’t the end of the beef. Wade had clearly heard enough from Marlin’s mouth and needed little prompting from a reporter to go on a pretty solid rant in his postgame presser. The 5:50 mark below is where things get interesting.
“I take exception when people take shots at your program,” Wade said. “Our guys take exception to that.”
Wade, an SEC man, quickly transitioned to big-timing his Sun Belt counterpart.
“To be honest, before Sunday I didn’t even … ULL wasn’t even a thought in my mind. I had no idea what they were,” Wade said before trailing off.
Wade went on to reel off LSU’s many bonafides, ULL’s shortcomings and explained why indeed the Tigers did deserve to be the higher seed and hold home-court advantage. It was a very well-researched argument.
He also addressed that late timeout.
“Since they don’t get to play us very often, I thought they should sit there and enjoy the opportunity to play us.”
Wade declined to clarify what he said to Marlin during that timeout.
The entire rant is a worthwhile listen. To the victor goes the spoils.
But not the last word, evidently, as Marlin found the energy for one last postgame jab in defeat.
— Billy Embody (@BillyEmbody) March 15, 2018
“We wanted a home game,” Marlin said. “We won 27 games this year. It took them two years to win 27. … If this game were played in Lafayette, it would have been a little bit different, in my opinion. But I backed up what I said.”
Good show, gentlemen. Let nobody ever say again that people don’t care about the NIT.
Louisiana certainly does.
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