NCAA Tournament First Four 2017: Junior Robinson is confident, and rightfully so

NCAA Tournament First Four 2017: Junior Robinson is confident, and rightfully so

No. 16 seed Mount St. Mary's (19-15) vs.

NOTES: Mount St. Mary's landed its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance by winning the Northeast Conference tournament.

While this year's Privateers are champions of both the Southland Conference regular season and the conference tourney, not since 1987 has UNO won a NCAA Tournament game.

At one point, Mount St. Mary's was 1-11 on the year but managed to finish the season 18-4 the last 22 games played.

The sixth-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats (29-5) were waiting to find out who they would play in their first game Friday in Sacramento, California, and they found out Tuesday night that it would be Kansas State.

Josh Hart is a leading contender for national player of the year awards, former super-recruit Jalen Brunson has developed into an intriguing NBA draft prospect, and 2016 national championship game hero Kris Jenkins is just as risky as ever from behind the 3-point line.

So MSM is back in the Dance for the second time in the last four seasons.

"I wouldn't have guessed once out of 100 times that we were going to play Villanova", Mount St. Mary's guard Elijah Long said, "but dreams come true, and it is March Madness".

Mount St. Mary's was much more successful from long range, with guards Junior Robinson and Miles Wilson combining to hit their first four. The Wildcats are led by the nation's most explosive backcourt. "The biggest issues was we never got into a groove defensively where we could keep them in what I feel like is our main fundamental areas".

"It would be hard for me to believe that anybody [in the tournament] could appreciate this moment more [than his team]", Slessinger said Monday in Dayton.

Thomas grabbed the rebound and with 2.6 seconds to play, UNO called timeout. "We've challenged ourselves to the highest levels we could this season, playing six NCAA tournament teams, playing on the road against some of the very best".

Long led all scorers in the contest with 24 points to go along with nine rebounds in the conference finals victory en route to being named NEC tournament MVP. Despite the senior forward's invisible second half, New Orleans clawed their way back into the game.

The most unsafe mid- and low-majors come NCAA Tournament time are those with no fear, and Mount St. Mary's certainly qualifies. I mean, each game, I'm going to probably be the shortest player on the court.

Thibodeaux, the team's second-leading rebounder, had just committed a turnover and was unhappy with Gill for not getting him the ball in the post sooner.

"I think we can't emphasize enough that this isn't the end goal".

"We started the engine and now the vehicle is moving", Frye said.