By Kyle Parmley
BIRMINGHAM — UAB basketball is going dancing.
The Blazers ran off three victories in three days to capture the Conference USA Tournament title and seal an automatic bid to the NCAA Basketball Tournament. It is UAB’s first trip to the Big Dance since 2011.
Following close wins against Western Kentucky and Louisiana Tech, UAB handled Middle Tennessee in the championship game, 73-60.
“I’m pretty overwhelmed,” head coach Jerod Haase said after the game. “We were able to wear down Middle (Tennessee) a little bit as the game wore on. They had a fantastic run and we were fortunate to beat a good team.”
Jarvis Calhoun, a Hewitt-Trussville product and a freshman in the UAB program, checked into the championship game in the final minute and enjoyed the team’s celebration and cutting of the nets afterward. Calhoun is one of six freshmen on the team, a group that is largely to thank for the Blazers’ success.
UAB draws a 14-seed in the NCAA Tournament, and will face 3-seed Iowa State in a second round matchup to take place in Louisville, Ky. The game is set for Thursday at 11:40 a.m., and will be televised by truTV.