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Banned from the NCAA Tournament, Larry Brown and SMU Fight to Regain Their Pride

Banned from the NCAA Tournament, Larry Brown and SMU Fight to Regain Their Pride
Published On: Tue, Feb 16
Mar 19, 2015; Louisville, KY, USA; Southern Methodist Mustangs head coach Larry Brown reacts against the UCLA Bruins during the first half in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Two days after their quest for an undefeated season ended with an 89-80 loss at Temple"dropping their record to 18-1"the SMU Mustangs erased any lingering bad vibes with a spirited, two-hour practice at Moody Coliseum.

The workout ended with a huddle near the baseline.

"We're back!" the players chanted as they broke the huddle. "We're back!"

Standing a few feet away, head coach Larry Brown could only smile and shake his head.

"Seriously," he said, "can you believe these kids? Their outlook, their attitudes? Unbelievable."

This wasn't the first time Brown had marveled at his team's resiliency.

He did it in March 2014, when the Mustangs reached the NIT title game after being inexplicably passed over for the NCAA tournament despite a 23-9 regular-season record and a third-place finish in the American Athletic Conference.

It happened again a year later, when Brown's players maintained their poise after a questionable goaltending call against SMU with 13 seconds remaining proved to be the difference in a 60-59 loss to UCLA"spoiling the program's first appearance in the Big Dance since 1993.

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