NCAA Bracket 2012: How Saint Louis Basketball Got To March Madness

Mar 10, 2012; Atlantic City, NJ, USA; Saint Louis Billikens guard Kwamain Mitchell (3) gets off a jump shot against Xavier Musketeers guard Mark Lyons (10) during the first half in the semifinals of the 2012 Atlantic 10 Tournament at Boardwalk Hall. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

The Saint Louis Billikens are in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 12 years. Here's how that happened.

The Saint Louis Billikens are dancing after earning at at-large bid out of the Atlantic 10, their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2000, and their first under head coach Rick Majerus.

The Billikens assured themselves of at-large consideration early on in the season when they went on a run and beat Washington, Boston College, Villanova and Oklahoma in consecutive games before losing to Loyola Marymount. Though none of those teams qualified for the tournament themselves, it introduced the Billikens to the national consciousness as a team capable of beating power conference opponents.

They finished the season 25-7, second in the A-10, a conference that placed four teams in the NCAA Tournament, and lost in the conference semifinal to Xavier. They beat the Musketeers twice in the regular season, and also defeated St. Bonaventure, the A-10 Champion, on Feb. 1. They're the ninth seed in the West bracket, matched up with Memphis in the second round.

Saint Louis earned a No. 9 seed and a difficult road to the Sweet 16. The Billikens will meet Memphis in the first round, with the winner likely facing No. 1 seed Michigan State.

Join our 2012 NCAA Bracket pool to compete against the best and brightest from around the network.

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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