The Bruins open the tournament in Dayton on Tuesday at the bottom of the bracket looking up, an unexpected development for a team that started the season with an global controversy and ended it with another spot in the tournament - albeit one of the least desirable.
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - No. 11 seed St. Bonaventure (25-7) vs.
The Bruins received one of the at large bids during Selections Sunday. The college basketball odds for the game have the Bruins favored to pick up the win.
Freshmen Jalen Hill, Cody Riley and LiAngelo Ball were accused of shoplifting during a trip to China in November. "Obviously we want to go deep into the tournament ... but seeing how much our team has developed is already a success".
The Bruins weren't alone in dealing with off-court issues. The Bruins have not won a national title since the 1995 season. The FBI also is investigating allegations that led to charges last fall against assistant coaches and agents. The survivor will travel to Dallas where it will take on sixth-seeded Florida in the first round on Thursday.
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St. Bonaventure: The undersized Bonnies lack depth and were glad to get Stockard back from the hamstring injury. He averages 12.9 points, third on a team that has little depth.
"It can't get better", Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt said in a postgame interview on truTV.
LIU Brooklyn (+4¹/₂) over Radford: The Blackbirds just pulled off an even tougher win than this, knocking off NEC regular-season champion Wagner - a defense-first team like Radford - in Staten Island, where the crowd was against them, and the Seahawks were undefeated all season.
St. Bonaventure set a school record with its 26th win.
The Bonnies were second in the 14-team Atlantic 10 Conference and had a 13-game winning streak ended with an 82-70 loss to Davidson in a semifinal of the Atlantic 10 Championship Saturday. "I think one of the advantages, if we have an advantage, is that we played here a number of times". Both are looking for their first NCAA Tournament victories.
"To me, surpassing the Sweet 16 would definitely be a plus to this year", senior guard Kelli Hayes said of how she hoped to end her UCLA career.