No. 16 seed Hampton earned its first NCAA Tournament win in 14 years on Tuesday night when the Pirates knocked off fellow 16 seed Manhattan , 74-64, in the first round in Dayton, Ohio.
It was a big-time showing for a team that wasn’t expected to win. Steve Masiello’s Manhattan team gave Louisville a run for its money in last year’s tournament. Some thought Manhattan would cruise.
But the Jaspers had 17 turnovers and didn’t really threaten. Hampton also dished out a season-high 20 assists, which was a bad sign for a Manhattan team that thrives off turnovers and disrupting offense.
Manhattan got a game-high 17 points from Shane Richards, but the Jaspers shot just 37 percent from the field and missed 19 3-pointer attempts.
The Pirates are the seventh team with a losing record to win an NCAA tourney game. Hampton star Quinton Chievous finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds. But he injured his ankle and missed the closing stretch of the second half.
“Hopefully Quenton will be fine,” Hampton coach Edward Joyner Jr. said. “The guys have rallied together.”
Chievious said: “It was really physical but we all came ready to battle, and we came out with the win and I’m just so happy right now.”
Hampton will play Kentucky on Thursday and has a .500 record for the first time this season since it was 8-8. Thoughts on Kentucky, Quenton?
“I’ve gotta get healthy, man, and my teammates gotta get ready, locked in and focused and hopefully we can get an upset at the end of the day,” Chievous said.
It also means we hopefully get to see more of this. Such a casual bench reaction to a made free throw. Creative. Recognize the movie reference?