NCAA Tournament 2012: Western Kentucky Rallies Over Mississippi Valley State, 59-58

And we’re off.

Down 15 points with less than eight minutes to play, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers forced Mississippi Valley State into turnovers, and also took advantage of some unforced errors, to advance to the real first-round of the NCAA Tournament, with a 59-58 victory.

The comeback was sealed with a T.J. Price's three-pointer with 19.5 seconds remaining:

With President Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron in attendance, the teams did not play quality basketball, but a close and dramatic game did get the tournament off on the right foot.

Statistically, neither team did anything very well. WKU turned the ball over 27 times and MVSU allowed 21 offensive rebounds, but the game showed just how fun the NCAA Tournament can be.

Even the poorest of games can evoke excitement.

The Hilltoppers advance to play top-seeded Kentucky in the South Region, which will pit former high school teammates Derrick Gordon and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist against one another. The duo starred at New Jersey’s St. Patricks.

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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