The 2019 First Four features a program familiar with UD Arena from years of play in the Atlantic 10, a team that will be playing in Dayton for the third straight season and the two last at-large teams picked for the field.
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Here’s a rundown of the games at UD Arena:
No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson (20-13) vs. No. 16 Prairie View A&M (22-12), 6:40 p.m.: FDU won the Northeast Conference tournament for the second time in four years, beating Saint Francis 85-76. Prairie View, which won the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament, will play in the NCAA tournament for the second time.
The winner of this West Region game will play No. 1 seed Gonzaga in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Thursday.
No. 11 Belmont (26-5) vs. No. 11 Temple (23-9), 30 minutes after conclusion of first game: Temple, an Atlantic 10 member until 2013, returns to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2016.
Belmont will make its eight NCAA tournament appearance and first since 2015. It had a 14-game winning streak snapped in the Ohio Valley Conference championship game with a 77-65 loss to Murray State.
The winner of this East Region game will play No. 6 seed Maryland on Thursday in Jacksonville, Fla.
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We knew it all along 😅 pic.twitter.com/qJA9qZgGxo— Sun Devil MBB (@SunDevilHoops) March 17, 2019
No. 16 North Carolina Central (18-15) vs. No. 16 North Dakota State (18-15), 6:40 p.m.: North Carolina Central will play in the First Four for the third straight season. It lost 64-46 to Texas Southern in 2018 and 67-63 to UC-Davis in 2017. The Eagles earned an automatic bid by winning the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament, beating Norfolk State 50-47 in the championship.
North Dakota State won the Summit League tournament. The Bison beat Nebraska Omaha 73-63.
The winner of this East Region game will play No. 1 seed Duke on Friday in Columbia, S.C.
No. 11 Arizona State (22-10) vs. No. 11 St. John's (21-12), 30 minutes after conclusion of first game: These were the last two at-large teams selected, according to Seth Davis, of CBS. The Sun Devils lost in the First Four last season, 60-56 to Syracuse. St. John's will play in the tournament for the first time since 2015.
The winner of this West Region game will play No. 6 seed Buffalo on Friday in Tulsa, Okla.
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