The Long Island Blackbirds are not your typical 16 seed.
In fact, had Julian Boyd not torn his ACL earlier in the season, there’s probably no way that this team is even listed as a No. 16. The Blackbirds have won three consecutive Northeast Conference Tournament championship and have danced each year since 2011.
Despite the loss of Boyd however, Long Island is still a very dangerous squad. Jamal Olasewere and C.J. Garner are a dynamic duo, while Jason Brickman is one of the nation’s top leaders in assists. LIU also brings the nation’s fifth best scoring offense to the table, averaging 79.5 points per game.
The Blackbirds’ record won’t jump out at anyone this season, as they finished the season at 20-13 overall. However, keep in mind some of those aforementioned numbers. Again, this is not your average 16 seed.
Heading into Wednesday night, the Blackbirds are set to square off against James Madison, whose top scorer, Rayshawn Goins, has been suspended for the first of the game for an arrest over the weekend. Long Island features one of the nation’s top offensive lineups, so if they are hot and hitting shots out of the gate, this one could get out of hand quickly.
On the flip side, Goins must be ready to produce once he enters the game for the first time. Long Island will look to take advantage of the Goins-less lineup in the first half and build up a nice first half advantage. The pressure could be on the Blackbirds to get this done, simply because of the confidence factor that could stem out for the Dukes if they can keep things close after the first 20 minutes.
Tip-off is scheduled for 6:40pm (EST) on Wednesday.
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