FAIRBORN — Just days after winning the Horizon League men’s basketball tournament title in Detroit, the Wright State University Raiders are getting back into work, preparing for whomever it is they’ll play in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Players Grant Benzinger, Loudon Love and Mark Hughes joined Head Coach Scott Nagy for a press conference March 8 in the Setzer Pavilion on the Wright State University campus.
“Not a lot has transpired, really,” Nagy said. “We just practiced this morning for the first time and, it doesn’t matter when you take a day off, the next time you practice is a little bit of a shock. So we’re just trying to get the guys ready to win the next basketball game.”
By virtue of its March 6 tournament final win over Cleveland State, the Raiders secured the NCAA tourney’s automatic bid that goes to the Horizon League tournament champ. Wright State is making its third trip to the Big Dance in NCAA Division I basketball. They won the Mid-Continent Conference title in 1993, and won the 2007 Horizon League crown in 2007.
Ranked 101st in the latest NCAA men’s college basketball RPI (Rating Percentage Index) ratings out of 351 Division-I programs, Wright State figures to receive a double-digit seeding number when the 68 teams are chosen for the men’s college basketball tournament on Sunday, March 11.
Wright State is one of 13 teams who have secured automatic bids into the tournament so far. Nineteen other conference tournament champions will earn their entries into the tourney this week, and the other 36 at-large invitations will be decided Sunday night.
At this point, Nagy and his Raiders have no idea who their opening round opponent will be. The coach just knows that his team will have to be ready.
“Early in the year, we talked about how you play how you view yourself. Obviously, whoever we play next is going to be a tremendous basketball team. Do we view ourselves as beating that team? Because if we don’t, we’ll play that way,” Nagy said. “It’s very important to view yourself in a way that you know you can win.”
The 2018 March Madness Selection Show will be televised live this year starting at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 11 on TBS.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.