Chima Moneke scored 18 points and Brynton Lemar added 15 as the UC Davis Aggies win their first NCAA tournament game ever, 67-63, over N.C. Central in a First Four play-in game.
UC Davis didn’t join the Division I ranks until 2004. They didn’t join a conference until 2007. They didn’t win 20 games in a season until the 2014-15, when Jim Les, the former Bradley head coach, led the Aggies to a 25-7 record and the first regular season conference title in program history.
This year, UC Davis finally reached the NCAA tournament.
And they won a game.
That’s likely all they’re going to get as well, as the Aggies will advance to take on the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region, Kansas. This has been a dream season for UC Davis, but that dream is going to come to an end against a team many thought would be the No. 1 overall seed a week ago.
As far as N.C. Central is concern, this is the third time in four years that they’ve won the regular season title in the MEAC and the second time in that time frame that they’ve reached the NCAA tournament, but the Eagles are still without a win in the Big Dance. LeVelle Moton has that program rolling, and the wins are going to come eventually, but when you shoot 5-for-26 from three, 35.7 percent from the floor and miss a half-dozen layups, it’s hard to win games in the NCAA tournament.