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Morehead State-Richmond the ultimate underdog matchup

Morehead State defied the odds when it became just the 23rd team seeded 13th to win an NCAA tournament game. The chances of reaching the next round, however, are even steeper.

Only Valparaiso – yes, that Valpo – has ever reached the Sweet 16 as a 13 seed. That was back in 1998 when they beat 12-seed Florida State. For Morehead State to join that group, it’ll need to knock off Richmond, the 12-seed in the Southwest Region.

Win one more game. That’s all the Eagles are thinking about.

“We’ve got to stay focused,” said forward Kenneth Faried, the nation’s leading rebounder. “We are trying to be that Cinderella team, the team that people root for.”

About the only people who aren’t rooting for Morehead State, a school with 9,046 students in Kentucky that emerged as the star of the tournament by knocking off 4-seed Louisville, are Richmond fans and disgruntled Louisville fans. That’s about it.

Otherwise, they’re this year’s underdog du jour. It’s meant national attention, interviews, media attention, everything. Not that they’re complaining.

“Being in the spotlight is crazy,” junior guard Terrance Hill said. “But it’s a very good feeling.”

Not that Richmond is unworthy of being cheered. The Spiders are one of March’s true underdog heroes. They’re the only team in NCAA history to win games in the Big Dance seeded 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th.

Yes, you read that stat correctly. Don’t underestimate the Spiders. Too many other teams already have.

Makes me wish these two could be playing other teams for the chance to reach the Sweet 16. Then one wouldn’t have to go home.

Tip off is at 5:15 ET. On CBS.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.