NCAA Basketball Tournament - Murray State v Marquette

VIDEO: Why Murray, KY, is everything that’s great about college hoops

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Murray, KY, is college basketball.

A town of around 18,000 in the southwestern part of the state — Murray is just north of the Tennessee border and closer to Mississippi, Missouri and Arkansas than it is Louisville or Lexington — Murray is obsessed with their Murray State Racers.

Think about it like this: the town has 18,000 people, the school had about 10,000 undergraduate and grad students, and their basketball arena routinely fills to its 8,602 seat capacity on home games. On any given night, about 30% of the folks with a Murray, KY, address will be in the stands for a game. Think about that.

Mark Gottfried, Mick Cronin and Billy Kennedy all saw their careers launch in Murray, and Steve Prohm will join that list shortly, but the proud tradition of the Racers consists of 15 NCAA tournament appearances. They are thrilled just to be in the dance, and a season becomes historic when they win a game in the big dance.

This is mid-major basketball through-and-through. This isn’t Duke or North Carolina or Big Blue Nation. If it wasn’t for Isaiah Canaan and last year’s run at a perfect season, even fewer people would even know that Murray State was a program that existed. This is a small, but proud, program with a town behind them that bleeds navy blue and gold.

And thanks to the sleuthing of Matt Norlander, here’s a video that perfectly encapsulates just what the basketball team means to Murray, KY:

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Iowa State, Miami part of 2016 AdvoCare Invitational field

Jim Larranaga
Associated Press
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Friday afternoon the field for the 2016 AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando was announced, with Puerto Rico Tip-Off champion Miami being one of the eight teams involved.

Joining Jim Larrañaga’s Hurricanes in Orlando will be Florida, Gonzaga, Indiana State, Iowa State, Quinnipiac, Seton Hall and Stanford. Gonzaga has won the event in each of its prior two appearances, doing so in 2008 and 2012.

Each of the other seven teams will be making their first appearance at the AdvoCare Invitational.

Field for 2016 DirecTV Wooden Legacy announced

Steve Alford
Associated Press
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Another in-season tournament field for next season was revealed, as the DirecTV Wooden Legacy announced the eight teams that will make the trip to Fullerton, California.

UCLA, which was led to ten national titles by the event’s namesake, will take part as well CSUN, Dayton, Nebraska, New Mexico, Portland, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech. Six of the eight teams have made prior appearances in the event, with Dayton and Nebraska being the two programs who will make their DirecTV Wooden Legacy debuts next season.

Portland and Virginia Tech reached the title game in their prior appearances, with the Pilots losing to West Virginia in 2009 and the Hokies falling to UNLV in 2010.