Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers: 19-15, 14-4 in the NEC
Head coach: Jamion Christian (5th season)
Players to watch: Elijah Long (15.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG); Junior Robinson (14.1 PPG, 2.9 APG); Miles Wilson (11.3 PPG, 3.6 RPG)
Season recap: Mount St. Mary’s is dancing once again after coming out victorious in their fifth NEC championship game appearance in 10 years. Guard Junior Robinson—who stands at just 5-foot-5—took his play up a notch in the conference tournament with an average of 20.7 points per game in the Mountaineers' three wins. Robinson was the X factor once again in the clincher for Mount St. Mary's, tallying 18 second-half points as the Mountaineers held St. Francis to its second-lowest scoring output of the season in the win.
Although Mount St. Mary's does not enter the tournament with any marquee wins of note, the Mountaineers challenged themselves in nonconference play with road contests against Iowa State, West Virginia, Minnesota, Arkansas and Michigan. Mount St. Mary's was able to withstand an eight-game losing streak early in the season and finish atop the NEC in the regular season with a 14-4 record.
How they make a run: In their first tournament appearance since 2014, the Mountaineers rally behind Robinson and Long and put a scare in their first-round opponent after advancing past the play-in game.
How they falter: The team's lack of athleticism across the floor is exposed, and Long and Robinson are held in check as New Orleans knocks Mount St. Mary's out of the field.
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