Cal Poly continued its remarkable postseason run Wednesday night by becoming the second team in history to win an NCAA tournament game with at least 19 losses. The first was the Bradley Braves in 1955.
Cal Poly is only five games under .500 now (14-19) after winning a First Four play-in game 81-69 over Texas Southern.
That's Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Apparently there has been some confusion about exactly which school the Mustangs represent.
The Mustangs began their Cinderella story last week by winning the Big West Conference tournament title as the No. 7 seed. It continued Wednesday with their best shooting performance of the season. Cal Poly ranked 313th in the nation in field goal shooting entering the game and made 57 percent of their shots against the Tigers, despite Texas Southern coach Mike Davis imploring his team to dig in defensively.
Texas Southern looked like it might run away with a victory in the opening minutes when big man Aaric Murray opened the game with three consecutive dunks. Murray turned into a one-man show for the Tigers, scoring 38 points inside and out. The 6-foot-10 senior made three of five 3-pointers but managed to grab just two rebounds.
Murray's performance was the highest scoring total ever for player from the SWAC in the NCAA tournament, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Tigers inability to get stops defensively.
Senior forward Chris Eversley led Cal Poly with 19 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore Dave Nwaba scored 17 and blocked three shots.
Cal Poly's reward for winning is a meeting Friday in St. Louis with another team that has made history this season. Wichita State became the first team since 1991 to enter the NCAA tournament undefeated. The Shockers haven't lost since they were eliminated from the Final Four last season. They are 34-0.
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