Chattanooga, Tenn.,– The path for a potential Cinderella run in the NCAA Tournament was laid out for the men’s basketball team Sunday evening during the NCAA Basketball Selection Show on CBS.
For their 11th trip to the NCAA Tournament, the Mocs received the No. 12 seed in the East Region, and will face the No. 5 seed Indiana in the first round. The opening-round game will take place in Des Moines, Iowa.
The historic Hoosiers program finished the season with a 25-7 overall record including marquee wins over Iowa, Purdue and Michigan. Indiana dropped their last game in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Championship to Michigan 72-69 on Friday. This NCAA Tournament appearance marks the 39th in Indiana’s school history.
Chattanooga earned an automatic bid to the big dance after defeating rival ETSU 73-67 in the finals of the Southern Conference Tournament on March 7. The win also earned UTC their school-record 29th win of the season.
First year UTC head coach Matt McCall and the Mocs are looking to best Chattanooga’s 1997 season in which they advanced all the way to the Sweet 16 with upsets over Georgia and Illinois. Despite the record-setting year, McCall said in a statement Thursday that his focus is improving the team first before learning who their tournament opponent would be. He noted that improvements need to be made in regards to their press offense, and late-game situations. On-ball defense was also one of McCall’s concerns about the Mocs.
Chattanooga will have six days to improve in those areas, as well as learn about their next opponent before they tip-off on Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa.