JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – The ETSU men’s basketball team has its assignment, and once again the Buccaneers will have the opportunity to play the Cinderella role in the NCAA Tournament.
During Sunday evening’s live CBS Selection Show, the Buccaneers and the rest of the nation learned that ETSU has received a No. 13 seed in this week’s NCAA Tournament and will face off with No. 4 seed Florida from the Southeastern Conference on Thursday in Orlando, Fla. Specific tip times for the game in Orlando will be released at a later time.
Over 1,000 ETSU fans gathered inside the Millennium Center to learn of the Bucs’ matchup for the tournament.
“What a great night for our players, our fans and our entire program,” said ETSU head coach Steve Forbes. “We’re ready to get to work. Our goal was not just to play meaningful games in March, but to win them.”
The Bucs (27-7) enter the tournament as Southern Conference regular season and tournament champions, and are just one game shy of the school record for wins in a single season. The Bucs have played Florida four times in the past, but not since the 1981 season.
Middle Tennessee will also head back to the tournament for their second straight season. The Blue Raiders (30-4), won the Conference USA regular season crown before beating Marshall in their conference tournament championship game Saturday. MTSU broke brackets last season when, as a 15-seed, they upset the Midwest region’s 2-seed, Michigan State, 90-81 in the first round of the tournament. They’ll face Minnesota (24-9) Thursday.
Five SEC teams made the tournament this year. In the South, (2) Kentucky will play (15) Northern Kentucky on Friday. In the same region, (8) Arkansas gets (9) Seton Hall Friday. In the East, (4) Florida plays (13) ETSU on Thursday, and (7) South Carolina plays (10) Marquette Friday evening. On Thursday (9) Vanderbilt travels to Salt Lake City to play (8) Northwestern in the West region. The Wildcats reached the tournament for the first time in the program’s 113 year history.