Bonaventure wins game against UCLA

Florence Fletcher
March 14, 2018

The survivor will travel to Dallas where it will take on sixth-seeded Florida in the first round on Thursday. St. Bonaventure also has a long tournament drought, failing to win since 1970.

This season's tournament selection marks the fourth year in five seasons under Steve Alford, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach, in which the Bruins will compete in the NCAA Tournament.

The opener features the Long Island Blackbirds and Radford Highlanders fighting for the No. 16 seed in the East Region, with Big East tournament champion Villanova Wildcats waiting for the victor. The Wildcats then turned around and beat the Bonnies in the conference tournament by 12.

"I'm extremely proud of how hard they've worked, how hard they've stayed together".

It's been the mantra for the Bruins for much of the season and it will remain a key until there is no more basketball to be played.

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"Would we like to be playing two games instead of three?"

The Bruins have faced St. Bonaventure twice in the history of the two programs, with UCLA winning both meetings (once at home, once at a neutral site).

The Bruins finished third in the Pac-12 thanks to the play of junior point guard Aaron Holliday and freshmen Jaylen Hands and Kris Wilkes. Its enrollment is 2,100 - 1,635 undergraduates and 465 graduate students, according to the university.

Prominent St. Bonaventure alumni include Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian, SiriusXM Radio CEO James Meyer and former CBS and NBC correspondent Victoria Corderi.

It's easy to say these play-in games don't really matter in the larger scope of the NCAA tournament, but in each of the seven tournaments since the "First Four" was introduced, at least one participant has ultimately advanced past the Round of 64, with VCU (2011 Final Four), La Salle (2013 Sweet 16) and Tennessee (2014 Sweet 16) all winning multiple games. He got the Blackbirds to the NCAA Tournament in his first season and will be playing in an arena that was a regular A-10 stop during his nine seasons with UMass. Finals will begin next Monday when the team would be preparing for a East Region semifinal if it wins its next three games. We know how loud it gets. "Yeah", Alford said. "But we don't control that".

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