In the first play-in game of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, the North Carolina A&T Aggies faced the Liberty Flames. Tonight, Liberty could have used the Duke Blue Devils‘ starting guard, Seth Curry. He played at Liberty during the 2008-09 season. Despite his departure a few years ago, Liberty had three scorers who played just as well as Curry. However, tonight belonged to North Carolina A&T. Liberty lost a close game, by the score of 73-72.
North Carolina A&T was led by Jeremy Underwood‘s 19 points off the bench. The junior guard averaged 6.1 points during this season. Other key contributors included Bruce Beckford (16 points and nine rebounds) and Lamont Middleton (14 points and five rebounds). Liberty was led by Davon Marshall (22 points and three assists), John Caleb Sanders (21 points and nine assists) and Tavares Speaks (17 points, six rebounds and three assists).
North Carolina A&T led at halftime, 40-33. However, the second half belonged to Liberty. Liberty tried to keep the game close against North Carolina A&T, but it could not seize the lead. Liberty’s Sanders had a late attempt in the final seconds to win the game, but he missed the shot. Kudos should be given to both teams for making this game exciting to watch. Both fan bases were on the edge of their seats for this game. Hopefully, the kind of excitement generated from this game will be a good sign for an exciting tournament.
North Carolina A&T will be facing the Louisville Cardinals on this upcoming Thursday. Louisville is heavily favored to win this game. Although North Carolina A&T has a slim chance of winning their match-up, playing with heart and enthusiasm is underestimated. A No. 16 seed has never beaten a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. This will happen one day. No one knows if this Thursday will be the first time.