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Liberty Faces Mississippi State in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament

March 18, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty Faces Mississippi State in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament

For the first time since 2013, Liberty basketball will make its way to the San Jose, Calif., as they open up against the No. 5 seed, Mississippi State, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Flames go into the tournament as a No. 12 seed, the highest ranking in school history as they go into the game with a school record 28 wins. Mississippi State comes into the NCAA Tournament with a 23-10 overall record. The Bulldogs finished the regular season with a 10-8 mark in the SEC, which was tied for sixth place with Ole Miss. Mississippi State lost to Tennessee 83-76 in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. This is the third time Liberty has been sent to the East Region in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. In 1994 and 2004, the Flames were in the East Region, while Liberty was a part of the "First Four" in 2013 in the Midwest Region.

The winner of the Liberty vs. Mississippi State matchup will face the victor in the game No. 4 seed Virginia Tech vs. No. 13 seed Saint Louis game on Sunday.

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#12 Liberty vs. #5 Mississippi State

Game Date: Friday, March 22nd        

Game Time: 7:27 p.m. (EST)

Live Video: truTV

Play-by-Play Broadcaster: Spero Dedes

Color Analyst: Len Elmore

Color Analyst: Steve Smith

Sideline Reporter: Ros Gold-Onwude

Live Audio: Westwood One Sports Radio

Play-by-Play Broadcaster: Chris Carrino

Color Analyst: Mike Montgomery

Liberty Notables

  • Liberty is in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in school history and first since 2013.
  • A No. 12 seed is the highest Liberty has ever been ranked in the NCAA Tournament, having previously been a No. 16 seed all three previous trips.
  • This is head coach Ritchie McKay's second trip to the NCAA Tournament as a head coach, previously taking New Mexico in 2005.
  • Liberty's 28 wins is the most in a single season during its Division I era and ties the overall school record (1979-1980).
  • Liberty has set a new Division I school record (2009, 15 wins) with 16 wins at home in a single season.
  • Liberty set the school record for most true road wins in a single season with 11 road victories.
  • Liberty claimed its third regular season conference title. In 1997 and 2004, Liberty won the Big South regular season title.
  • Liberty currently has five players (Cabbil, Homesley, Pacheco-Ortiz, James and Baxter-Bell) on Liberty's Top 50 all-time scoring list, which is the most a Liberty team has had in a single season.
  • Cabbil became Liberty's winningest player in school history with 84 wins over the past four seasons, besting the previous record of 79 set from 1983-86.
  • Liberty is ranked No. 58 in this week's NCAA NET Rankings, and No. 63 in KenPom rankings. The highest Liberty has ever finished is 181.
  • Coach McKay is 2-2 all-time against Ben Howland, as the two met while McKay was at Portland State and Howland was the head coach at Northern Arizona.