Clarksville, TN – After making a history-making run through the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament last week, Austin Peay State University’s men’s basketball team will have to face a history making challenge once again in the NCAA Tournament.
The Governors (18-17) were the first eighth-seed to win the OVC Tournament championship, winning four games in four days, but now a bigger undertaking awaits them as a 16-seed and having to go up against the NCAA Tournament’s overall number-one seed Kansas (30-4).
Now going up against one of the elite of the elite programs in college basketball history is a daunting task in of its self, but add to that in the 31 years since the NCAA has seeded teams in this format no 16 seed has ever beaten a number one seed – with an overall mark of 0-124.
Austin Peay Governors pose for a group photo following the Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship game against the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks at Municipal Auditorium. Austin Peay won 83-73. (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)
Even with that history facing a number 16 seed, there have been close calls over the years.
In 1989, not one, or two, but three number-one seeds had a scare, with Georgetown and Oklahoma scrapping by Princeton and East Tennessee by one point; while Illinois turned back McNeese State by six points.
A year later, the only time a 16 seed took a number one into overtime occurred, with fellow OVC member Murray State going an extra period with Michigan State – before falling 75-71.
Kansas was even in a relatively close game as a number one back in the 2002 tournament, beating Holy Cross by 11 points, 70-59.
Austin Peay Governors Basketball wins the OVC Tournament; heads to Des Moines, Iowa to take on top seed Kansas in the South Region. (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)
That’s the history Austin Peay faces as a 16th seed in the tournament and that’s the hope – in past close calls – that the Govs hope to best as they take the court on March 17th in Des Moines, Iowa at the Wells Fargo Arena.
While that history isn’t the best there is other history to look at too.
While the Govs and the Jayhawks have never meet on the basketball court, Austin Peay has played five other teams that are members of the current Big 12 Conference in Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech with an overall mark of 2-5 versus these teams.
The two wins both came versus Texas Tech in the 1988-89 and 1989-90 seasons.
While most of those games versus the Big 12 have been several years ago there is one more little bit of history you can compare between Austin Peay and Kansas – and this bit happened this season.
If you look at both teams schedules this season they have one common opponent, Vanderbilt.
The Govs played the Commodores in their season opener, back on November 13th, coming away with an 80-41 loss; while Kansas faced Vanderbilt in the Maui Invitational on November 25th — less than two weeks after the Govs played Vandy – with the Jayhawks rallying in the second half for a 70-63 win.
So if you add it all up, the Govs don’t have much of a chance and will go into the NCAA Tournament with Kansas as big underdog and probably a one-and-done. But it’s not called March Madness for nothing … one day, one game, one upset. It’s going to happen sooner or later, so why not Austin Peay and why not this year.
About Chris Austin
Chris Austin is a graduate of Clarksville High School and Austin Peay State University.
Chris is a former Head Softball Coach for APSU, and assistant basketball coach for CHS.
Chris has worked at the Leaf-Chronicle, and WJZM News/Talk/Sports radio. Has also worked at the Sports Information Department at APSU, and has covered championship events for the Ohio Valley Conference and NCAA.
Chris is an avid sports fan and can be found at most Austin Peay State University sports events.
Web Site: http://www.clarksvillesportsnetwork.com
SectionsAnnouncements, Associations, Austin Peay State University, Basketball (Men), Colleges, Featured Story, NCAA, Ohio Valley Conference, Schools, Sports, Vanderbilt University
Topics25th, Austin Peay, Austin Peay State University, Big 12 Conference, Clarksville TN, Commodores, Des Moines, East Tennessee, Georgetown, Governors, Govs, Holy Cross, Illinois, Iowa, Jayhawks, Kansas, Kansas State, March 17th, Maui Invitational, McNeese State, Michigan State, Murray State, NCAA, NCAA Tournament, Nov, Nov. 13th, Ohio Valley Conference, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, princeton, Texas, Texas Tech, Vanderbilt, Vandy, Wells Fargo Arena