LOGAN – The Utah State men’s basketball team will face Missouri in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament in. The Aggies were chosen as a 10 seed, the Tigers as a seven in the South region. The game will take place in Sacramento, CA on Thursday, March 16.
Utah State’s opponent, the Missouri Tigers, went 24-9 under first-year head coach Dennis Gates. The Tigers finished fourth in the SEC with an 11-7 record and have been ranked multiple times in the AP Poll including in the most recent poll on March 6 at No. 25 overall. The highest rank Missouri received was No. 20 in the Jan. 2 and Jan. 9 polls.
In program history, the Aggies have only faced the Tigers twice and not since 1968. The two teams split a home-and-home series between the 1967 and 1968 seasons. Utah State won the first matchup in 1967, played in Logan, by a score of 87-81. Missouri won the next year on its home court 97-87.
Utah State’s invite to the NCAA Tournament marks the fourth time in five years the Aggies have qualified for the March Madness festivities and the first time under head coach Ryan Odom. Including the NIT, it is the fifth straight season the Aggies have qualified for the postseason.
Unfortunately, those postseason excursions have not yet yielded a win. In 2019 the Aggies lost to Washington in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In 2020 the tournament was cancelled, meaning that while USU officially qualified by winning the Mountain West Conference Tournament, no game was played. In 2021, Utah State made it back to the NCAA Tournament but lost to Texas Tech. Then in 2022 the Aggies went to the NIT, hosting a first round game, but lost to Oregon.
This story will be updated with reactions from coaches and players after they speak with the media at 5 p.m.
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