The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers entered the Sun Belt Conference Tournament with a 12-18 overall record and the tournament's No. 7 seed. Inexplicably, they made a run through the tournament, ripping off four straight wins to claim the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. They were unsurprisingly placed into the First Four round of games, where they take on the Mississippi Valley St. Delta Devils.
MVSU is 21-12 even though they went 17-1 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and won their conference tournament, thanks to the ridiculous nonconference schedule to which they subjected themselves. They went away to play teams like the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, North Carolina Tar Heels, Northwestern Wildcats, Mississippi Rebels, Florida Gators, Wisconsin Badgers and Iowa State Cyclones. They probably assumed that their strength of schedule would help keep them out of this play-in game if they managed to win their conference, but their failure to win any of those games, combined with the weakness of the SWAC, put them into this situation.
WKU's two leading scorers and rebounders, as well as three of their four leaders in minutes, are freshmen. None of the players who play regular minutes for the Hilltoppers are seniors. MVSU is a much more experienced team; their top five players in both points and minutes per game are all seniors.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, March 13, 6:40 p.m. ET
Venue: University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg and Steve Kerr
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