After winning its second consecutive Northeast Conference championship, the LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball team drew a No. 16 seed in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament and will take on No. 1 seed Michigan State.
The Blackbirds and Spartans will square off on Friday, March 16 in the second round of the tournament at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
LIU compiled a 25-8 record and went 16-2 in the NEC to claim its second straight regular-season title. The Blackbirds, who have the nation’s second-longest home winning streak at 27 games, are making their fifth NCAA Tournament appearance.
Michigan State is 27-7 and went 13-5 in the Big Ten. The Spartans, who are currently ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press poll, defeated No. 7 Ohio State by a 68-64 margin to capture the Big Ten championship.
The Blackbirds insured their trip to the tournament by defeating Robert Morris 90-73 in the Northeast Conference championship in front of a raucous sellout crowd at the Wellness Center in Brooklyn.
Four Blackbirds scored in double figures, led by 21 points from junior C.J. Garner. LIU (25-8) used a 13-0 run in the first half to pull away from the Colonials and claim a berth into the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season.
Jason Brickman tied a career-high with 18 points and added 10 assists for his fifth double-double of the season. The 10 dimes set a new NEC championship game record, as did his 29 assists during the three-game tournament.
The NEC title was the fourth for the Blackbirds, who also won in 1984, 1997 and 2011.