DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — New Orleans (20-11) is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1996, when it opens the tournament this evening in Dayton, Ohio, facing Mount St. Mary's (19-15), beginning at 6:40 p.m. Eastern Time.
New Orleans guard Christavious Gill says, "It's for everybody in New Orleans who has been in New Orleans since the devastation of Katrina." Mount St. Mary's Junior Robinson is the shortest player in Division I this season at 5-foot-5. He averages 14 points and 33 minutes per game. Coach Jamion Christian says. "You look at him, he's 5-foot-5, 165 pounds. He's worked really hard to get up to 165 pounds, really. He's a special player because he's got enormous heart."
The winner faces No. 1 Villanova on Thursday in Buffalo.
Kansas State (20-13) takes on comeback kids Wake Forest (19-13) with a scheduled start time of 9:10 p.m. EST in Dayton. Wake Forest overcame deficits of 19, 14 and 13 points to win its last three games in the regular season. The only other Division I team to win three straight games while overcoming double-digit deficits this season is Kentucky. And the term "kids" applies: eight of its 13 scholarship players are underclassmen.