Murray State Racers prepare for NCAA tournament

Matt McMahon
Posted at 10:23 PM, Mar 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-14 23:23:58-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — After a spectacular 30-2 regular season, Murray State earned the no. 7 seed in the East Regional of the NCAA Tournament when the brackets were unveiled Sunday.

Now the Racers will try to win in the tournament for the second time in four years.

Murray State will open its tournament run Thursday night in Indianapolis against 10-seed San Francisco. Tipoff is set for approximately 8:40 p.m.

The Racers become the first team in OVC history to finish the conference’s regular-season a perfect 18-0, capturing the league’s crown in the school’s final year in the league. MSU finished the season on a 20-game winning streak, the second-longest streak in the country behind only South Dakota State’s 21-game streak.

Murray State is in the tournament for the third time in five seasons, having also won the OVC Tournament title in 2018 and 2019. That second trip under head coach Matt McMahon saw the Racers win its first-round game led by future NBA star Ja Morant.

This year’s version of the team has its own star in OVC Player of the Year K.J. Williams. The 6’10 big man has been dominant this season, averaging 18.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.

He’s surrounded by a good supporting cast that includes fellow all-league picks Tevin Brown and Justice Hill in the backcourt, and multiple transfers that have sacrificed their own personal stats in order to help the team.

If Murray State can beat San Francisco it would likely set up a second-round matchup with in-state power and no. 2 seed Kentucky on Saturday in Indianapolis.

But while much of the talk throughout the region is on the attractiveness of that round of 32 tussle, head coach Matt McMahon isn’t allowing his team to focus on that hypothetical, stressing that they need their full attention on practice and preparation this week in order to first beat the Dons.

You can watch my full interview with McMahon from Sunday Sports Central in the video player above.