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First Four: LIU-Brooklyn And Radford Kick Off NCAA Tournament Tonight

14 March 2018, 09:44 | Joan Schultz

Joe Santoliquito For PhillyVoiceVillanova players react as their seeding is unveiled on Selection Sunday

Joe Santoliquito  For PhillyVoiceVillanova players react as their seeding is unveiled on Selection Sunday

The Highlanders notched their first NCAA tournament win in program history on Tuesday night, defeating fellow No. 16 seed LIU Brooklyn 71-61 to earn a crack at top-seeded Villanova on Thursday evening.

BC-BKC-NCAA-LIU-Brooklyn-Radford Capsule, 245 Streaking LIU-Brooklyn and Radford face off in First FourAP Photo NY905Eds: APNewsNow.

The Highlanders took the Blackbirds out of transition for most of the game as they held LIU to no field goals over the last 6:47.

The Highlanders advance to the First Round of the Big Dance where they will meet No. 1 Villanova in Pittsburgh on Thursday, March 15 at 6:50 p.m.

How they make a run: Although it is extremely unlikely that the Blackbirds make any sort of noise in the tournament, perhaps the dynamic duo of Clark and Hernandez catch fire offensively, as they did in the Northeast Conference championship game. Jones' thunderbolt of a pull-up 3-pointer as time expired gave the Highlanders a 55-52 victory over Liberty in the Big South title game and sent them to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009.

In the first "First Four" play-in game of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, LIU Brooklyn and Radford will square off, with the victor claiming the No. 16 seed and a date with top-seeded Villanova in the East Region.

Radford was up 30-28 at halftime after leading by as many as nine points in the first period.

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Clark and Hernandez compose the most unsafe pair of scorers in the conference, and collectively averaged 47.0 points per game in LIU Brooklyn's run in its conference tournament.

Radford's Randy Phillips (32) and LIU Brooklyn's Julius van Sauers (2) tip off during the first half of a First Four game of the NCAA Tournament at UD Arena on March 13, 2018 in Dayton, Ohio.

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

Being a member of the Atlantic 10, the Bonnies are very familiar with playing at UD Arena, the latest on January 3, in a game Saint Bonaventure lost to the Dayton Flyers.

The Highlanders have an NCAA tournament win and a date with a No. 1 seed.

TOP SCORERS: LIU-Brooklyn has four starters in double figures, led by Joel Hernandez (20.8 points per game). Radford is led by Ed Polite Jr.



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