DAYTON, Ohio – The University at Albany men's basketball team won their first game of the NCAA Tournament Tuesday.
Most teams pray they're not one of the eight forced to play in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but UAlbany embraced the opportunity for a few reasons. The Danes got the unique chance to tip-off the Big Dance, and they also went up against a fellow 16-seed team, Mount St. Mary's College.
The team had a realistic shot of winning the program's first ever NCAA Tournament game, and they got it done.
The game was a wild one as the two teams differing playing styles came to a head. The Mount plays an up-tempo game shooting a ton of threes, and UAlbany plays a more deliberate and physical down low game.
The Great Danes stormed out to a 21-2 lead, but the Mount responded with an 18-0 run to make it a game, and it stayed tight until the end.
DJ Evans and Peter Hooley combined for a total 42 points as UAlbany beat Mount St. Mary's 71-64.
It was the Great Danes fourth NCAA Tournament appearance, but their first win. The team earned the America East Conference an extra $1.5 million with the win.
UAlbany will now take on the University of Florida Gators on their home court in Orlando, Fla. The Gators are on a 25-game winning streak having lost just two games all season.
The game tips-off at 4:10 p.m. on Thursday, March 20.
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