NCAA tournament First Four 2018: LIU-Brooklyn vs

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Carlik Jones #1 of the Radford Highlanders handles the ball on offense against the Long Island Blackbirds during the second half of the First Four game in the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at UD Arena on March 13, 2018 in Dayton, Ohio.

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.

LIU-Brooklyn (18-16) faces Radford (22-12) at 5:40 p.m.

LIU is coming off a surprising run to the Northeast Conference title, upsetting Wagner on its home floor in the conference championship game to secure its first NCAA Tournament bid since 2013.

The victor gets No. 1 Villanova on Thursday.

NCAA tournament First Four 2018: LIU-Brooklyn vs
NCAA tournament First Four 2018: LIU-Brooklyn vs

EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS: After finishing sixth in the Big South last season, Radford, in southwestern Virginia, was picked in preseason polls to finish near the bottom of the conference again. When looking at how many favorites have been knocked out in the first round as a No. 2 seed, it's only a matter of time before a No. 16 seed pulls off the unthinkable by becoming the first team to finally earn a win.

"Our bench has been our strength all year", Radford coach Mike Jones said.

Clark and Hernandez compose the most unsafe pair of scorers in the conference, and collectively averaged 47.0 points per game in LIU Brooklyn's run in its conference tournament. Wojnarowski and his wife, Amy, a fellow St. Bonaventure alumnus, donated $10,000 to fund student travel and ticket costs for the school's first NCAA tournament appearance since 2012. LIU Brooklyn averages the second most points per game in its conference and plays at the fastest pace.

"Everybody's shocked because nobody believed in us but Radford", Highlanders junior forward Ed Polite Jr. told reporters. Jones is the only other double-digit point producer at 11.8 and averaged 14.5 in the Big South Tournament, including 13 in the final to go along with six assists and five rebounds.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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