LEWISBURG, Pa. -- The Patriot League champion Bucknell men's basketball team will be seeded 14th in the NCAA Tournament and will face third-seeded Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament Round of 64 on Friday in Detroit. Tip-off is slated for 7:10 p.m. (ET) from Little Caesars Arena.
The game will be televised on CBS, with Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel and Allie LaForce on the call. Westwood One will have the national radio call with Chris Carrino and P.J. Carlesimo, and the game will air locally on Eagle 107 (107.3 FM) with Doug Birdsong describing the action.
Bucknell is 25-9 overall and went 16-2 in the Patriot League. After capturing the outright regular-season title for the fourth straight year and seventh time in the last eight years, the Bison defeated Loyola, Boston University and Colgate to claim the Patriot League Tournament crown.
Michigan State is 29-4 and ranked fourth in the Associated Press Poll and fifth in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Spartans went 16-2 in the Big Ten and fell to Michigan 75-64 in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament all the way back on March 3. Michigan State's only losses this season have come at the hands of Duke, Ohio State and Michigan (twice). Tom Izzo's squad is led by sophomore forward Miles Bridges, a unanimous All-Big Ten First Team selection and Sporting News Second Team All-American. Bridges averages 16.9 points and 6.9 rebounds and is one of five Spartans scoring at least 11 points per game on the season.
Bucknell and Michigan State have met just once previously, that coming in the 2003-04 season opener. The Bison led the third-ranked Spartans for much of the night before falling 64-52. Bucknell's unimaginable 1-for-17 free-throw shooting contributed to the loss. Kevin Bettencourt led the Bison with 21 points in that game, while Paul Davis had 21 for Michigan State.
Bucknell will be playing in the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time. The most recent appearance came last season in Buffalo, where the 13th-seeded Bison fell to West Virginia, 86-80.
The winner of the Bucknell-Michigan State bout will play in the second round on Sunday against either sixth-seeded TCU or one of the No. 11 seeds, Arizona State or Syracuse.