Villanova Wildcats to play Radford Highlanders in first round of NCAA Tournament

NCAA Tournament Central

The Big South champion Highlanders are making their third tournament appearance and first since 2009.

The NCAA men's basketball tournament tipped off at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday with a Virginia team in action.

One of the downfalls of earning a top seed (although deep down there's no REAL reason to complain) is the chance of having to face off against the victor of one of the play in games, which was exactly the case for Villanova. Hicks picked up his fourth foul with nine minutes remaining in the game with Radford up 53-46.

A Devonnte Holland put-back off a missed shot stretched the lead to 9 points with a little over a minute left and the game was pretty much over from there on out. Raiquan Clark (16 ppg), Jashaun Agosto (13.1 ppg) and Julian Batts (11.4 ppg) are right behind him.

The Highlanders twosome of Ed Polite Jr. and Travis Fields Jr. scored 13 points apiece with Polite Jr. hauling in 13 rebounds with Carlik Jones adding 12 points and another eleven rebounds.

LIU Brooklyn: Got hot in the NEC Tournament but couldn't sustain it on the big stage, shooting just 38 percent compared to 47.5 percent for Radford.

Radford: At times the Highlanders looked like they didn't want it, either, but they played better in the second half on the back of Jones, who had seven assists to go with his double-double. Averaging 20.9 points per game during the season, Hernandez was just 3 for 11, including 1 for 5 from the 3-point line. And when he hit that shot at the end of the first half, we told our guys, hey, understand now he's coming at you with both barrels blazing in the second half.

The Highlanders have won eight in a row, but that will be put to the ultimate test following this victory when they face the top-seeded Villanova Wildcats in the East Region on Thursday.

A Radford Highlanders cheerleader performs during the first half of the First Four game between the Radford Highlanders and the Long Island Blackbirds in the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at UD Arena on March 13, 2018 in Dayton, Ohio.



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