LIU-BROOKLYN VS. RADFORD
No. 16 LIU-Brooklyn (1816) vs. No. 16 Radford (22-12)
First Four, East region; Dayton, Ohio, 6:40 p.m.
BOTTOM LINE: Northeast Conference Tournament winner LIU-Brooklyn makes its first appearance in the tournament in five years. Radford got in by beating Liberty at the buzzer in the Big South championship game. The Highlanders have two tournament appearances, the last in 2009. The winner gets No. 1 Villanova Thursday.
STREAKERS: Radford has won its last seven games. LIUBrooklyn, which shocked New York City rival Wagner in the Northeast Conference tournament to earn the First Four bid, has won five in a row. 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. But the Highlanders won the conference tournament as the second seed. Their 22 wins matched the most in a season for the program, and Mike Jones was chosen Big South Coach of the Year.
TOP SCORERS: LIU-Brooklyn has four starters in double figures, led by Joel Hernandez (20.8 points per game). Raiquan Clark (16 ppg), Jashaun Agosto (13.1 ppg) and Julian Batts (11.4 ppg) are right behind him. Radford is led by Ed Polite Jr. (13.5 ppg) and Carlik Jones (11.8). DID YOU KNOW?: This season is the 20th anniversary of Radford’s first NCAA Tournament appearance.