SAN ANTONIO — The steady progression under third-year head coach Steve Henson continues.
For the first time ever, UTSA has earned a bye in the Conference USA tournament entering a Thursday night bout in Frisco.
"It's a big-time accomplishment for us, so getting that No. 4 seed was big time for us, so getting that bye—we really wanted that," sophomore Keaton Wallace said.
"Winning three in a row is hard enough," Henson added. "Winning four in a row makes it that much tougher."
The Conference USA tournament might be one of the most unpredictable of the season. The top 12 teams in the league at the end of the regular season are only separated by five wins.
"A lot of teams feeling good right now, but you can probably say there are seven or eight teams with a legitimate shot at winning it if they get hot and play well," Henson said.
That's certainly the case for UTSA, which boasts the fourth-best scoring combo in the country in Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace. The dynamic duo has averaged a ridiculous 43 points per game this season, but the rest of team only scores roughly 35 points per game.
If the Birds want to dance for the first time since 2011, it has to be a team effort.
"When we have (Jackson and Wallace) going together on the same night, we're pretty good," Henson said. "We also need a third or fourth guy to step up each night. Those are the nights we're really hard to beat."
Wallace said the supporting cast has been integral to the Roadrunners' successful season.
"Our teammates help us out with that," he said. "It's not just me and Jhivvan. Our teammates play a big role in our success."
And when it comes to pressure, the Roadrunners are ready. The team played 14 matchups where the game was within one possession in the final four minutes. UTSA is 8-6 in those scenarios.
"We won a lot of tough games this year so, we've been in those situations. you know we've been in those crunch-time situations...I expect us to do well," Wallace said.
UTSA will play UAB Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. The two squads split the season series earlier in the year.