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Murray State Racers to face San Francisco as a seven seed in March Madness tournament

Liam Niemeyer
Murray State fans jump out of their seats after hearing who the Racers would play in the "March Madness" tournament.

The Murray State Racers men’s basketball team will face off against the University of San Francisco Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Division I “March Madness” tournament.

More than 300 Racer fans along with the team and coaches jumped out of their seats in the CFSB Center in Murray after hearing that Murray State would play in Indianapolis as a seven seed in the East Region of the 68-team tournament.

The Racers finished the season with a 30-2 record and were undefeated in Ohio Valley Conference play, winning their conference tournament championship earlier this month against Morehead State. The team finished with a Top 25 ranking from the Associated Press, KJ Williams was named the OVC Player of the Year and Matt McMahon was named the OVC Coach of the Year.

In comments after the public gathering celebrating the team’s tournament berth, McMahon said his team is ready.

“You got to enjoy the journey. Should be a lot of fun. But as a team, individually and collectively as a group, we have to remember why we’re here and stay committed to the hard work, the discipline, the unselfishness – and I could go down the list – that leads to winning,” McMahon said.

McMahon said the San Francisco Dons match up similarly to Murray State, with the Dons being an elite defensive and rebounding team. Murray State could play the University of Kentucky Wildcats – a two seed in the East Region – for the first time ever if the Racers advance to the second round of the tournament.

McMahon said he hopes Racer fans will travel to see the team in Indianapolis later in the week, with the fanbase making a “big impact” when they show up to games.

“It’s an easy trip from Murray to Indianapolis, Paducah to Indianapolis, Benton to Indianapolis,” McMahon said. “I’ll extend the invitation: all Racer fans are invited. Let’s bring a lot of navy and gold to Indianapolis and have a good time with it.”

"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."
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