Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Radford starts NCAA dance Tuesday

Radford starts NCAA dance Tuesday

The Long Island Brooklyn Blackbirds take the hardwood with the Radford Highlanders in a First Four matchup of the NCAA college basketball tournament.

Two years ago, Villanova came out on top of one of the most unbelievable championship games in the big tournament when Kris Jenkins hit the game-winning shot from beyond the arc to give the team their first title since 1985. LIU-Brooklyn makes its first appearance in the tournament in five years, while Radford is back for the first time since 2009.

When looking at the history of No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, there's a good chance that Villanova will have little trouble winning their first game, no matter who they end up playing in the opening round. The Highlanders will meet LIU-Brooklyn on Tuesday at Dayton.

BOTTOM LINE: Northeast Conference Tournament victor LIU-Brooklyn makes its first appearance in the tournament in five years.

STREAKERS: Radford has won its last seven games.

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EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS: After finishing sixth in the Big South last season, Radford, in southwestern Virginia, was picked in preseason polls to finish near the bottom of the conference again.

Hernandez, a senior guard, also contributes 5.9 rebounds and three other players average at least 10 points for the Blackbirds - who were second in the league in scoring (77.5). The Blackbirds are coached by Derek Kellogg, who is in his first season after spending nine years at MA where he took the Minutemen to the Big Dance once.

"Everybody's shocked because nobody believed in us but Radford", Highlanders junior forward Ed Polite Jr. told reporters. (13.5 ppg) and Carlik Jones (11.8). Junior guard Raiquan Clark (17.4 points, team-high 7.1 rebounds) connects on 55.7 percent of his shots, while sophomore backcourt mate Julian Batts scores 10 per contest.

All season, the Villanova Wildcats were considered one of the top favorites to make a run in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, and rightfully so when looking at how risky Jay Wright's team has looked, especially from beyond the arc.

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