Morehead State (#16, Midwest, Dayton pod)
vs. Louisville (#1) having defeated Alabama State on 3/17/09 in the Preliminary Round.
Friday, March 20th at 7:10 pm
Vegas Line: TBD
Location: Morehead, Kentucky — approx. 50 miles east of Lexington on I-64
Conference: Ohio Valley Conference — Tournament Champion
Coach: Donnie Tyndall; hired 2006. MSU record 46-48
08-09 Record: 19-15 (12-6 OVC)
Last 12 Games: 7-5, Won 3
Best Win: at East Tennessee State (Atlantic Sun tournament champion), 71-61 — 12/30/08
Worst Loss: vs Grambling State, 71-72 — 11/29/08
Off. Efficiency Rating: 101.1 (175th)
Def. Efficiency Rating: 101.4 (174th)
Nuts n Bolts
Star Player: Kenneth Faried, 13.9 ppg, 12.8 rpg (3rd nationally); 23 double-doubles this year
Unsung Hero: Leon Buchanan, 15.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg; 66.7% 3PFG (12th nationally)
Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): Faried, currently a sophomore, is a future candidate.
Key Injuries: No significant injuries.
Depth: 24.9% bench minutes (303rd nationally)
Achilles Heel: Guarding the three. Opponents shoot 36.7% (290th nationally)
Will Make a Deep Run if…: Faried, Buchanan, and Maze Stallworth can all achieve an Arceneaux-level of performance, now that the prelim is over.
Will Make an Early Exit if…: They play their usual game, and a miracle doesn’t happen. No disrespect intended, but Louisville isn’t Alabama State. Congrats to Morehead on getting an NCAA Tournament win, but the road likely ends here for the Eagles.
Last Year Invited: 1984. Beat NC A&T (70-69) in the “Preliminary Round,” then lost to Louisville in Round of 64 (59-72).
Streak: Consecutive invites in 1956, 1957 and 1983, 1984.
Best NCAA Finish: 2-1 in 1956 (Lost in Sweet 16 and won Regional 3rd Place game)
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): n/a
Six Degrees to Detroit: Junior guard Cecil Brown is from Grand Rapids, MI. The Eagles’ campus is 402 miles (6.5 hrs by car) from Detroit.
Distance to First Round Site: 193 miles
School’s Claim to Fame: One of only four US universities to offer a BS in Space Science. Also the alma mater of NPR personalities Steve Inskeep and Noah Adams, ESPN college football commentator Mike Gottfried, game show host Chuck Woolery.
School Wishes It Could Forget: Billy Ray Cyrus (of “Achy Breaky Heart” fame, and father of Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana) is an alum. The school doesn’t necessarily want to forget this…but a lot of people do.
Prediction: Lousville will be too much to handle, of course. It would take something even bigger than a Chaminade-like upset to get out of the official first round. This is a team that lost its last four games of the regular season before the OVC tournament and the play-in game. They deserve congrats for getting through the conference tournament, and I hope they enjoy the trip.
Major RTC stories: OVC Season Wrap & Tourney Preview; 4 Tickets Punched, 61 to go…
Preview written by: John Stevens, Rush The Court.