PERKINTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast has gotten a chance to rejuvenate after the grind of the MACCC South season, and the Bulldogs start the NJCAA Region 23 Men's Basketball Tournament with a trip to Holmes.
Gulf Coast, though, wants to keep things just as they have been.
"I think we treat it the same way as we treat all our games," Gulf Coast coach Tim Ryan said. "We're grateful we've gotten this rest. We're a little bit fresher after all those games stacked up on us."
Gulf Coast finished the regular season 6-10 overall, 4-10 in the MACCC South. Holmes (11-3, 11-3) finished second in the North Division.
The Bulldogs are preparing for a Holmes offense led by a trio of outstanding guards.
"They have really great guards," Ryan said. "They have three guards who are their three best players, probably. We need to contain those three guys."
Gulf Coast has tweaked a couple of things offensively since the regular season ended but the foundation will be the same.
"Offensively, we need to be able to get out in transition," Ryan said. "We need to be able to run against these guys. They're good defensively."
All 19 Region 23 teams qualified for the tournament, with three first-round games having been played Tuesday. The Bulldogs play in the second round, with the winner advancing to play at LSU Eunice on April 6 after Itawamba was unable to play because of COVID issues.
The quarterfinals will be played April 6, with the semifinals and finals being at their traditional Mississippi College site on April 8-9.
NJCAA Region 23 Playoffs
Tuesday, March 30
(Higher seed hosts)
No. 16 Coahoma 63, No. 17 Mississippi Delta 58
No. 18 Baton Rouge 75, No. 15 Copiah-Lincoln 59
No. 14 East Central 87, No. 19 Southern-Shreveport 75
Thursday, April 1
(Higher seed hosts)
No. 16 Coahoma winner at No. 1 Pearl River, 6 p.m.
No. 18 Baton Rouge winner at No. 2 Northeast, 6 p.m.
No. 14 East Central winner at No. 3 Hinds, 6 p.m.
No. 4 LSU Eunice advances (No. 13 Itawamba COVID)
No. 12 Gulf Coast at No. 5 Holmes, 6 p.m.
No. 11 Southwest Mississippi at No. 6 East Mississippi, 6 p.m.
No. 10 Delgado at No. 7 Meridian, 6 p.m.
No. 9 Northwest at No. 8 Jones, 6 p.m.
For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.
BY: Don Hammack
Sports Information Director
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College