LIU Brooklyn, Radford match up in First Four — March Madness

The Highlanders will take on top-seeded Villanova in the East Regional on Thursday. Both Ranford and LIU Brooklyn had the honor to start the off the NCAA Tournament in a near-packed UD Arena.

Butler coach Jordan called Villanova "the most fundamentally sound team that we face". With 16:35 left to go, back-to-back 3-pointers gave the Blackbirds a 38-35 lead, their first advantage since they led 3-2 at the 19:17 mark in the first half.

The Wildcats will face the victor of an opening round matchup between Virginia Tech and Alabama.

A 37-9 first half burst helped carry No. 1 seed Villanova (31-4 overall) to an 87-61 victory over No. 16 seed Radford in an NCAA Tournament East Regional First Round game Thursday night.

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Play of the game: Not much went right for Radford after the game's opening minutes, but the Highlanders did provide the biggest highlight on Ed Polite Jr.'s tip dunk in the first half.

"I trust every player on our bench is going to come in and get their job done", said Polite, the Highlanders' All-Big South Conference forward.

So Villanova which had all five starters, plus sub Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, finish in double-figures, will meet ninth-seeded Alabama on Saturday in an East Region second-round matchup. The Wildcats just won the Big East Tournament in NY. "I feel like not a lot of people in America know about us". Villanova became just the second team in Division I history to win at least 30 games in four straight seasons and if it reaches the Final Four will set a D-I record for wins in a four-year span (Gonzaga can too). Defensively, Radford basketball yields 64.3 points per game against the opposing teams. Junior guard Aaron Holiday was the main contributor to that onslaught, scoring UCLA's first eight points off three makes. They could hang around here against the Wildcats, who are just 1-7 against the number under Jay Wright while they are a No. 1 seed. Only four times since 1985 has a No. 12 seed failed to beat a No. 5 seed. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. Teams in the region are No. 1 Kansas, No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Michigan State, No. 4 Auburn, No. 5 Clemson, No. 6 TCU, No. 7 Rhode Island, No. 8 Seton Hall, No. 9 NC State, No. 10 Oklahoma, No. 11 Syracuse, No. 12 New Mexico State, No. 13 Charleston, No. 14 Bucknell, No. 15 Iona and No. 16 Penn. The Wildcats were +400 to win March Madness at BetDSI. He scored 23 points against TCU on March 3, and then 25 against Texas the following week.

  • Tabitha Byrd