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GCU’s Majerle disappointed after WAC final, prepared for CBI

(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

After finishing the season as the third seed in the WAC with a 20-13 record, the Grand Canyon Antelopes failed to reach their goal of competing in the NCAA Tournament.

The Antelopes saw their only hopes of entering the March Madness bracket slip away with a 89-57 loss to New Mexico State in the WAC Tournament championship game on Saturday.

The ‘Lopes have appeared in the last two WAC Tournament championship games, only to be beat by New Mexico State both times.

“[I’m] very proud that we got to the finals, but extremely disappointed in our game against New Mexico State,” GCU basketball head coach Dan Majerle told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “Our guys just really ran out of gas.”

Majerle has brought the Antelopes within one win of an NCAA Tournament bid in both of the team’s first two full years of Division I postseason eligibility.

With the season goal of playing in the Big Dance now unreachable, the ‘Lopes accepted an invitation to participate in the 12th annual College Basketball Invitational.

Grand Canyon will travel to Morgantown, W.Va., to face off with the West Virginia Mountaineers in the first round of the invitational.

“It’s going to be a good experience for us,” Majerle said. “[West Virginia] played well in their tournament, they’re a very physical and pressing team, so we’re going to have our work cut out for us.”

The Mountaineers finished the regular season as the 10th seed in the Big 12 Tournament with a 14-20 record. After upsetting Oklahoma in the first round of the conference tournament, the Mountaineers shocked the college basketball world with another upset of then seventh-ranked Texas Tech. However, the Mountaineers’ magical run eventually came to an end in the semifinals against Kansas.

The first round match up between the ‘Lopes and Mountaineers is scheduled to tip at 4 p.m. MST on Wednesday.