NCAA Tournament Play-in Capsules


NO. 16: Mississippi Valley State vs. Western Kentucky

■ WHERE: University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio

■ TIME: 3:40 p.m. today

■ TV: truTV (54)

■ LINE: Western Kentucky -4½; total 137½

■ RECORDS: Mississippi Valley 21-12; Western Kentucky 15-18

■ HOW THEY GOT HERE: Mississippi Valley won the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament. Western Kentucky won the Sun Belt tournament.

■ RECORD VS. NCAA FIELD: Mississippi Valley 0-5; Western Kentucky 0-4

■ THE BUZZ: Western Kentucky was the surprise winner of the Sun Belt as the No. 7 seed and is the only team in the field with a losing record. The Hilltoppers, who have won six in a row, are lax defensively and can’t shoot, but they are athletic. Valley opened 1-11 but has won 20 of its last 21. The Delta Devils are a physical group, but their offense is spotty, too. The winner gets top-seeded Kentucky in a round of 64 game Thursday. Valley’s coach is former Kentucky point guard Sean Wood.


NO. 14: Brigham Young vs. Iona

■ WHERE: University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio

■ TIME: 6:05 p.m. today

■ TV: truTV (54)

■ LINE: BYU -2; total 161½

■ RECORDS: BYU 25-8; Iona 25-7

■ HOW THEY GOT HERE: BYU received an at-large bid out of the West Coast Conference. Iona got an at-large bid out of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

■ RECORD VS. NCAA FIELD: BYU 1-6; Iona 3-2

THE BUZZ: Iona’s inclusion might be the biggest controversy of the selection process, but the Gaels can play. This is a gifted offensive team; the Gaels lead the nation in scoring (83.2 ppg), can hit the 3-pointer and have three legit weapons in forward Mike Glover (nicknamed “Optimus Prime” for his playground prowess) and guards Scott Machado and Lamont “Momo” Jones, a transfer from Arizona. Machado is one of the nation’s best point guards, averaging 9.9 assists. He should feast on BYU’s backcourt. Glover is a bit undersized (6 feet 7 inches, 215 pounds), but he knows how to score in the low post. Iona is not a gifted defensive team; the Gaels allow almost 73 points per game, which is good news for a BYU team that also prefers a fast pace. The Cougars’ big guys have a decided size advantage, and BYU has four players averaging in double figures: forwards Brandon Davies, Noah Hartsock and Charles Abouo, and guard Matt Carlino. Expect a score in the high 70s or low 80s; the higher the score, the better it is for Iona. The winner gets third-seeded Marquette on Thursday.


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