Following a pair of thrilling games that saw Albany and North Carolina State advance Tuesday night, the 2014 NCAA men's basketball tournament concludes its play-in round with two more contests Wednesday night at the University of Dayton in Ohio.
Cal Poly (or as it's officially known - California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo) is making its first trip to the NCAA Tournament by virtue of the Mustangs' win over Cal State Northridge in the Big West Conference tournament championship last weekend, garnering the league's automatic NCAA tournament bid. The only team in the NCAA tournament field with an overall losing (13-19) record, Cal Poly is led by Chris Eversley, who averages over 13 points per game.
Texas Southern is another tournament champion, winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference by besting Prairie View A&M last weekend. The Tigers are making their fifth trip to the NCAA Tournament and first since 2003. Center Aaric Murray is the go-to guy for Texas Southern, scoring at a 21-point-per-game clip. The Tigers are coached by former Indiana and Alabama-Birmingham head coach Mike Davis, who led the Hoosiers to the 2002 NCAA national championship game against Maryland.
Iowa had a strong start to their year, winning their first seven games. But the Hawkeyes are limping into the tournament, having lost six of their last seven encounters including a defeat by Northwestern in the first round of the Big Ten Conference tournament. Still, they reached 20 wins this season and have senior guard Roy Devyn Marble and junior forward Aaron White to thank, as the pair averaged 30 points per game.
Tennessee also had its moments this season, beating East region No. 1 seed Virginia back in December and giving Florida a run for their money in the SEC Tournament before falling to the Gators a third time this year. Despite that loss, the Volunteers have won five of their last six games going into the Iowa contest. Jordan McRae leads the team in scoring, averaging over 18 points per game. First-team All-SEC performer Jarnell Stokes is Tennessee's leading rebounder, at 10 per contest, while contributing 14 points per game.
Both games Wednesday evening will be televised on truTV. The tip-off for the first game, Cal Poly and Texas Southern., is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Eastern time. The second game, Iowa vs. Tennessee is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. .