CONWAY - Liberty capped a stunning recovery from an injury-riddled season Sunday with an 87-76 upset of top seed Charleston Southern in the Big South Conference Championship Game at the HTC Center.
The Flames, 15-20 after a 1-11 start, finally are healthy and showed it this week in Conway with four wins to seize the league’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid.
The Bucs (19-12) are assured of an NIT bid as Big South regular season champions.
CSU was hoping for its second NCAA Tournament appearance.
ESPN2 televised the game.
CSU defeated VMI, 71-65, on Saturday in the semifinals.
The Bucs played in the 1997 NCAA Tournament, losing to UCLA in the first round, after defeating Liberty in the Big South title game at Lynchburg, Va.
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff