LEWISBURG, Pa. – The 2017 Patriot League champion Bucknell men’s basketball team received a No. 13 seed in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament and will take on No. 4 seed West Virginia in a first round game. The contest is scheduled for Thursday at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo.
The game will tip at approximately 2:45 p.m. (30 minutes after the conclusion of the 12:15 p.m. Notre Dame-Princeton game). It will be televised on CBS, with Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel and Allie LaForce on the call.
The Bison enter the tournament with a 26-8 record after winning the Patriot League regular season and tournament championships. The regular season title was the team’s sixth in the past seven years, while the tournament title was its first since 2013. This will be Bucknell's seventh NCAA Tournament appearance, and its second NCAA game against a Big 12 opponent. In 2005, the Bison knocked off third-seeded Kansas 64-63.
West Virginia received an at-large bid to the tournament after going 26-8 and finishing as the runner-up in the Big 12 Tournament. The Mountaineers will play in the NCAA Tournament for the 10th time in 14 years.
Bucknell is 0-8 all-time against West Virginia, with all of those games played between 1923 and 1977. In the most recent meeting on Jan. 3, 1977 in Morgantown, the Mountaineers won 112-71. Current WVU coach Bob Huggins scored 14 points in that game, while Bucknell was led by Bob Barry with 28 points.
West Virginia is known for its high-pressure defense. The Mountaineers lead the nation in steals per game (10.4) and turnovers forced per game (20.4). Offensively, they average 82.0 points per game and have done it with a balanced attack. Jevon Carter leads the squad with 13.1 points per game, but seven others average at least 5.6 ppg.
The Bucknell-West Virginia winner will play the winner of fifth-seeded Notre Dame and 12th-seeded Princeton in the second round on Saturday.