Mavericks Square Off Against Bearcats in NCAA Tourney Saturday
For the 12th time in 14 years the MSU men's basketball team will take the floor in an NCAA tournament.
KEYC News 12 Sports Rob Clark caught up with the Mavericks before their opening round match-up with Northwest Missouri State.
"We were the underdog all year, we were picked fifth in the conference, and we made a run, finished second in the south. So we've been the underdog all year, we embrace that role, and we're looking for the upset."
MSU comes into the NCAA tournament as an eight seed squaring off against last year's national champs.
The squad's coming off a one point loss to Northern State in the NSIC playoffs, but the purple and gold will try to put together another long winning streak as the squad chases a national title.
"Once we've taken a loss, we've really bounced back and put together a string of wins, now this will be more difficult, but our guys are very resilient, the chemistry is great, they trust the process, and when you do that as a program, good things happen."
"We went through a stretch where we won a lot of games, and we went through a stretch where we lost a lot, but we just stayed the course and battled the whole time. Now we've put ourselves in position to make a run for a national championship."
MSU's thrived late in games this season with plenty of options capable of hitting a clutch shot.
"Those situations are almost when we thrive I think. Having the depth that we have, it's tough in those late quarters and parts of the games to defend all those weapons, and I think that helps us down the stretch."
"We haven't put together a 40 minute game yet, and that's kind of crazy to say when you have 22 wins and are in the NCAA tournament. We do have five guys that are averaging double figures right now, I feel we've got eight guys that can score for us. We need everybody, 12-13 guys be ready to go and be their best for the next three days because that's all it is. It's a three day tournament, and if you can do that, you're off to the Elite 8."
MSU takes the floor at Northwest Missouri State this Saturday at 6.
We'll have more from the Mavericks later this week on KEYC News 12.
In Mankato, Rob Clark, KEYC News 12 Sports.