FILE - In this March 20, 2021, file photo the March Madness logo is shown on the court during the first half of a men's college basketball game in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. A Supreme Court case being argued this week amid March Madness could erode the difference between elite college athletes and professional sports stars. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

Murray St. to play San Francisco in first round of NCAA tournament

In a battle between two of the of the best mid-conference teams in college basketball, the Murray State Racers will face off against the San Francisco Dons.

After winning 20 straight games, the Racers ended the season 30-2 and 18-0 in conference play, landing them the N0. 7 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Because of this success, Murray State’s head coach, Matt McMahon, finds himself on the radar of several larger schools looking to fill their vacant head coach positions.

His achievements over the last four years have led the Racers to four regular season conference championships and three conference tournaments.

Florida Gators fans will have a close look at this game as McMahon is one of the favorites to fill their empty head coach spot.

On the other hand, the Dons ended their season with a 24-9 record earning an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

The Dons will need an inspired performance if they wish to advance to the next round of the NCAA tournament.

San Francisco lost three of their last six games before the season concluded.

It doesn’t help that they will be facing a red-hot Racer’s team that hasn’t lost since December.

Nevertheless, you can expect a very competitive game when the ball tip-off tonight at 9:40.

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San Francisco Dons

The Dons are led by senior guard Jamaree Bouyea who averages 16.7 points per game.

If they want to have success in this matchup, they must play through Bouyea and make their free throws.

The Dons struggle from the charity stripe, connecting on just 69% of their freebies.

Along with efficient free throw shooting, the Dons must knock down their three ball as 44.4% of their shots are from deep.

They will most likely lean on their top three point shooter, Julian Rishwain, who is shooting the three at a 44.3% clip.

San Francisco is also ranked ninth in opponents three point shooting percentage, limiting opponents to 28.3%.

Stopping the three ball will be essential against a Murray State team that is shooting 34.7%  from long range.

The Dons will also be without big man Yauhen Massalski.

Losing Massalski is a big blow for the Dons as they will be missing 13.5 PPG and 9.4 RPG.

Murray State Racers

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The Racers will lean on their 1-2 punch of  KJ Williams (18.2 PPG) and Tevin Brown (16.9 PPG).

The tandem has been identified as one of the most lethal duos in college basketball.

Along with their talent, they have the obvious tournament experience to carry their team to new heights in the tournament.

Similar to their opponent, the Racers struggle from the charity stripe, shooting an abysmal 69.8% from the line.

Whichever team can take advantage of their free throws will have the edge over their opponent.

Making up for their poor free-throw shooting, the Racers excel at two-point scoring shooting 53.5% inside the arc.

If they wish to advance to the next round of the tournament, the Racers must continue the efficient offensive play that carried them to 20 straight wins.

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