**********Here is what made Liberty University the first team to clinch an automatic bid in the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament field.**********
from Larry Brown Sports….
The Liberty Flames played North Alabama in the Atlantic Sun tournament final back on Sunday, but the game had no bearing on the team’s NCAA Tournament hopes. That’s because they were already in.
Prior to Sunday, the Liberty University Flames had not yet formally clinched the automatic bid as the Atlantic Sun tournament champion, but they were able to play the game knowing they were already in the NCAA Tournament.
That’s because their opponent in the final, North Alabama, is still in the process of transitioning to Division I athletics and was ineligible to participate in the Big Dance this season.
With North Alabama ineligible, even if they beat Liberty back in the Sunday final, the Flames would have claimed the automatic bid by virtue of their regular-season conference title. The school’s Twitter account made light of that odd situation after North Alabama’s win in the tournament semifinals(back on Friday) clinched Liberty’s spot.
This made Liberty the first team to clinch an automatic bid in the 2021 field.
++++++++++Here’s what happened in the ASUN final, even though it was all a mute point.++++++++++
from the Liberty Flames basketball website:
For the third straight season, Liberty is crowned ASUN Tournament Champions, as the Flames defeated North Alabama 79-75 in the ASUN Championship game, Sunday afternoon at UNF Arena.
Liberty clinches the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with a 23-5 overall record. Liberty’s Darius McGhee was named the ASUN Tournament MVP and was also named to the ASUN All-Tournament Team along with Chris Parker and Kyle Rode.