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Doubtful that Delta Devils will overlook Western Kentucky


Mike Miller

Western Kentucky’s the lone team in the NCAA tournament with a sub-.500 record. Could that be an advantage in its First Four game Tuesday night?

“A lot of people are underestimating us,” freshman guard Derrick Gordon said.

That’s only natural when facing a 15-18 team. But I doubt Mississippi Valley State feels that way.

The Delta Devils began the season 1-11, making their usual trek through a series of road games against bigger schools in an effort to pay the bills. Yes, they’re 21-12, which means they closed the season on a 20-1 run (!), but when you come from the SWAC and are constantly overlooked in the NCAA pecking order, you don’t overlook anyone.

“I didn’t beat my guys up after games this year,” coach Sean Woods told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “I kept that in perspective.”

Plus, the Delta Devils have never won an NCAA tournament game. A win in the First Four would be its first in five trips. The Hilltoppers are one of the NCAA tournament’s regular winners, having been to the Sweet 16 as recently as 2009.

This isn’t a game where anything’ll be overlooked. Especially with President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron watching from the stands.

“Now, that’s an experience,” Woods said. “We can embrace that. How many times do you get the President to come watch you play?

“But even then, Western Kentucky is still trying to beat your butt. So let the President enjoy how hard you play and how good you play together, so he can have something good to say about you.”

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.