Hampton finished the regular season with an 8-8 record in MEAC conference play before running off four consecutive wins to capture the league title.
The champions of the MEAC will ride their mild winning streak into their First Four Midwest region matchup against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion Manhattan (19-13) tonight in Dayton, Ohio.
At 16-7 overall, the Pirates are the 24th team to make the NCAA Tournament with a losing record.
A team a record below .500 has won in the NCAA Tournament two of the last three years, including last season when 13-19 Cal Poly knocked off Texas Southern in the First Four.
“If you’d have told us that we were going to be the sixth seed and win the tournament at the beginning of the year, we probably would’ve laughed at you and kicked you out of the gym,” Hampton head coach Edward Joyner Jr. said.
About the Jaspers
Manhattan boasts senior Emmy Andujar, who was named First Team All-MAAC, as well as Third Team All-MAAC selection Ashton Pankey.
Andujar leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 16.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest.
Pankey is second on the team in both categories at 13.5 points and 6.7 boards per contest. Shane Richards is third on the team in scoring at 13.1 points a game.
What they’re saying about the game
Masiello on not looking ahead to UK: “We’re obsessed w/ Hampton. If Hampton were our girlfriend, we’d have a restraining order against us.”
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) March 16, 2015
Hampton coach Edward Joyner on being ~ 1 billion to 1 shots to win national title per @kenpomeroy: “Too bad we can’t bet”
— Ray Curren (@currenrr) March 16, 2015
Tale of the tape
Record: 16-7 overall, 8-8 in the MEAC
KenPom ranking: 250
Sagarin ranking: 66.3
Record: 19-13 overall, 13-7 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
KenPom ranking: 146
Sagarin ranking: 72.5
Hampton vs. Manhattan (-9) (CBS Sports)
6:40 p.m. Eastern