SEMO men’s basketball learns NCAA Tournament fate, will face Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in First Four

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – The wait is finally over. The Southeast Missouri State men’s basketball team now knows who it will face in its first game of the NCAA Tournament. The Redhawks earned the 16-seed in the South region and will head to the First Four in Dayton to square off with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Tuesday.

The Redhawks have known for over a week that they will be in the NCAA Tournament, but senior guard and Ohio Valley Conference Tournament MVP Chris Harris said finally having their place in the bracket and knowing who and where they are playing is when reality really sets in. 

“It doesn’t really set in that you’re actually going to play until you see your name called up there, so that’s really what it was, and this whole event really helped us to get over that hump to get ready, and now we’re hungry again to go ahead and start playing,” he said.

Senior Nate Johnson said this team has captured the attention of Redhawk Nation. 

“We’ve been talking about changing the perception and the feel of the basketball team around SEMO, so now everybody’s here, they see what we did, they know what we can do now, and now I think the community and everybody in the environment’s just loving it,” he said.

Head Coach Brad Korn said this night will stick with everyone involved for the rest of their lives. 

“People forget what you say; they never forget how you make them feel,” he said. “You say a lot of things, but they’re going to remember this moment for the rest of their lives, and it’s the work that they put in, and they’re rewarded for it.” 

And all that hard work will be put to the test in less than 48 hours on one of the biggest stages in sports. 

“Once we get done with all the lights and the glitz and the glamour, once the ball goes up in the air, it’s going to be basketball, and that’s what they do best,” Korn said.

The winner of Tuesday’s game between the Islanders and Redhawks will go on to face number one overall seed Alabama.

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