Michigan State, fresh off a share of the Big Ten regular season crown and the Big Ten tourney title, drew the No. 1 seed in the West Region, the Big Ten’s lone top seed. The Spartans will play No. 16 Long Island at 9:20 p.m. ET Friday night. Before the game tips off in Columbus, Ohio, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina introduces you to the Northeast Conference champs. A little sampling: Did you know the Blackbirds have never won an NCAA tournament game? Meet Long Island in this post.
Conference: Northeast Conference
Best win: at Wagner, 73-66 (box)
Coach: Jim Ferry
Best player: Julian Boyd, Jr., F – 56% FG, 17.4 ppg, 9.5 rpg
Last NCAA tourney: 2011
Deepest tourney run: First round – 2011, 1997, 1984, 1981
Track the tourney: NCAA Bracket
5 THINGS ABOUT LONG ISLAND
- The Blackbirds start two 5-foot-10 guards in Jason Brickman and C.J. Garner, a diminutive duo that combines for 22.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg and 10.7 apg.
- Long Island won 20 of its last 22 games, the lone losses coming on the road, against Robert Morris and Monmouth.
- A season ago, as a No. 15 seed, Long Island lost to No. 2 seed North Carolina, 102-87.
- Julian Boyd, who owns 14 double-doubles, has shot 69 percent in the last eight games, with the worst shooting game during the span being a 8-for-15 performance (53 percent).
- A fast-paced team, Long Island averages 81.9 points per game — good enough for third-best in the nation.