PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – Ready set go! The Prairie View A&M men's basketball team will be heading to Dayton, Ohio for the first round of the NCAA tournament when they face Fairleigh Dickinson at the University of Dayton Arena.
The game is set for Tuesday, March 19 for a 5:30 p.m. central time tip-off. The winner of the First Four contest will advance to play #1 seed Gonzaga in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday.
"It's an exciting time here at Prairie View," said head men's basketball coach Byron Smith. "We have to be focused, well single minded focused, because going into this tournament it's a one and done deal. We like how we are playing and we like the focus of the team and the direction we are going. We like how the team is playing together and being very unselfish."
The Knights of Fairleigh Dickinson finished as the Northeast Conference (NEC) champions with a 20-13 overall record. The Panthers finished as the Southwestern Athletic Conference Champions with a 22-12 over record.
This will be the third time in the history of the two programs that these teams would have met. The first time was on November 15, 2001 with the Panthers defeating the Knights 77-66. The second meeting was on November 24, 2012 with Fairleigh Dickinson taking the win with an 84-70 victory.
This will be the second time that the Panthers would have played in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. In the 1998 game the Panthers faced Kansas falling 110-52.
"It's an exciting time for our student athletes here at Prairie View A&M," Mr. Fred Washington the Vice President/Athletics Director said. "It's an exciting time to be a Panther. It is special how the world views our men's basketball program, so it's a very special time."
The last time the Prairie View A&M's basketball team won the SWAC tournament was 21 years ago (1998).