Although it isn’t the Big Dance, the UT Arlington men’s team will play in the postseason for the second straight season and coach Scott Cross wants to see some fans in the stands.The Mavericks will host Oral Roberts in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the College Park Center with a chance to earn back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in school history.For the second time this season, Cross penned a letter urging fans to show up in support of what is becoming one of the most consistently successful college basketball programs in the Metroplex . Despite winning more games than SMU, TCU and North Texas have in the last two years, the Mavericks struggle to fill seats in their brand-new arena.The heavily promoted Oklahoma (6,421) and Utah State (4,837) games filled the arena with fans, making it noticeably louder during the game. Cross said that energy makes his team — which never really had a home-court advantage in Texas Hall — even better.“If you were at either one of those games, I know that you left excited about the future of UT Arlington basketball. We need all UTA students and supporters to attend this game, simply because you really do make a difference,” he wrote.This could be the final time anyone will see seniors Kevin Butler, Jordan Reves, Cameron Catlett and Karol Gruszecki suit up, so Cross promises they’ll be the most exciting and hard-working players in the country.“They are going to lay their heart and soul on the line on Wednesday for you and UTA,” he wrote.The Mavericks came within just nine points of beating New Mexico State for a trip to the NCAA Tournament Saturday. Gruszecki, UTA’s hottest shooter over the last three weeks, controversially fouled out with eight minutes to play.They’ll face an Oral Roberts team that lost its last two games of the season and four out of its last five. The Golden Eagles are shooting 46.1 percent for the season behind Warren Niles, an outside gunner who’s made 40 percent of his 3-pointers and averages 19.1 points per game.
UTA vs. Oral Roberts
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, College Park Center
Records: UTA 19-13, Oral Roberts 18-14