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NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheet: Get to know Western Kentucky

Vinny Zollo, T J Price

Western Kentucky’s Vinny Zollo (41), T.J. Price, left, and the rest of the team celebrate their victory after an NCAA final Sun Belt conference tournament college basketball game in Hot Springs, Ark., Tuesday, March 6, 2012. Western Kentucky defeated North Texas 74-70. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)


Read through the rest of the NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheets here.

Conference: Sun Belt

Coach: Ray Harper

Record: 15-18, 7-9 (7th)

Rankings and Ratings:

- Kenpom: 192
- RPI: 191
- AP/Coaches: Unranked

Seeding?: Western Kentucky may be the single-lowest seed in the tournament. They will be in the play-in game.

Names to know: Derrick Gordon (11.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg), George Fant (10.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg)

Stats to know: There is nothing that Western Kentucky does well enough to even get placed into the top 100 on Kenpom. So how about this: two. Western Kentucky is on their second head coach of the season right now, as Ken McDonald was fired after he lost a game where the Hilltopper’s opponent had six players on the court for the final possession.

Tendencies: WKU likes to get out and run the floor. They have some decent big men on their roster, which plays to their advantage as they are one of the worst shooting teams in the country. The Hilltoppers attack the rim.

Big wins, bad losses: The win over Middle Tennessee State on the last day of the regular season was easily WKU’s best win of the year. Their worst loss? They lost 18 games, so there were a lot of bad ones.

How’d they get here?: WKU went from being the seven-seed in the Sun Belt tournament -- a distinction they earned by upsetting MTSU in their last game -- to the automatic bid.

Outlook: Western Kentucky may actually be able to win a game in the NCAA Tournament. Why? Because it seems fairly likely that they are head for the First Four in Dayton, and while it may be a disappointment for any other team, I’m sure the Hilltoppers are ecstatic. They had a coaching change midseason, then won six of their last ten before making a run in the Sun Belt tourney. I’m pretty sure they will be happy about the First Four.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.