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VIDEO: La Salle finds out it made its first tourney in 21 years

Tyreek Duren, Rob Brandenderg

La Salle’s Tyeek Duren drives against Virginia Commonwealth’s Rob Brandenberg during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Clement Britt)

AP

That’s what sheer joy looks like.

La Salle coach John Giannini and his team crowded into a small room at Tom Gola Arena to watch Sunday’s selection show. It turned out to be worth the wait.

From CSN Philly:

La Salle was one of the last teams to have its named called on Sunday. The Explorers will face Boise State (21-10) in the first round (or, if you prefer the old parlance, a play-in game) of the West Regional on Wednesday in Dayton at 9:10 p.m. The winner will advance as the No. 13 seed to play No. 4 Kansas State in Kansas City on Friday at 3:10 p.m.

When the announcement was made, the players – previously hushed and tense – leapt up and began hugging and jumping and screaming in unison. Their elation was evident, and it was a long time in the making. This will be La Salle’s first NCAA tournament appearance since 1991-92.

“We’re thrilled to be in the NCAA tournament and hear our names called with the best teams in the country,” Giannini said. “We think we deserve to be there. You can’t win unless you’re there ... a big step for our program is being part of this very special event, but also being recognized as one of the best teams in the country.”

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.