OLEAN – St. Bonaventure earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday as an 11th seed, and will travel to Dayton, Oh. to play the UCLA Bruins on Tuesday at UD Arena.
The winner of that game will square off against 6th seeded Florida in Dallas on Thursday.
“We are all guys that have under-achieved,” said Head Coach Mark Schmidt. “We do it with a chip on our shoulder. I think that’s one reason why we’ve had success.”
St. Bonaventure (25-7) will make its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance, and second under Schmidt.
“We feel like the underdog,” said Schmidt.”We have something to prove and it’s going to be like that on Tuesday. Think about this, it’s UCLA, it’s UCLA.”
The last time St. Bonaventure received an at-large NCAA bid was 2000.
While the players were grateful for the opportunity to play on the biggest stage in college basketball, Bonnies guard Matt Mobley stopped short of criticizing the seeding position handed down by the NCAA Tournament selection committee.
“I am not really surprised at the end of the day,” said Mobely, in reference to the Bonnies having to play a “play-in” game.
“We’re excited playing UCLA, a powerhouse, we’re just ready to play and what ever happens, happens,” added Mobley.
St. Bonaventure’s 2017-18 season has been highlighted by its 25 wins, which tied the school record set by the 1969-70 Final Four team.
The Bonnies finished second in the Atlantic-10 with a mark of 14-4, tying the school record for conference wins.
Twice during the season, the Bonnies had win streaks of eight games or more. The team, most recently, carried a 13-game winning streak that was snapped on Saturday in the A-10 Tournament semifinals. Each of the past two weeks, the Bonnies received votes in the national polls.