Posted Sunday, March 12th, 7:02 p.m.The GW men’s basketball team was given an eighth seed in the NCAA Tournament and will face UNC-Wilmington in Greensboro, N.C., in a first-round matchup. The eighth seed is the men’s program’s highest seed in its history. The winner of GW’s game will go on to face the winner of the top-ranked Duke and 16th-seeded Southern. The Colonials (26-2, 16-1 Atlantic 10) are in the Atlanta bracket.
The Colonials will face Wilmington Thursday.
The team watched from the Hippodrome on the fifth floor of the Marvin Center where approximately 400 fans joined in the festivities.
Coach Karl Hobbs looked upset as his squad, which had the nation’s longest winnings streak until losing to Temple, received a seed lower than Georgetown.
“They are in a very good league,” Hobbs said of first-round opponent Wilmington. “I said all along you’ll have to beat someone pretty good. We have a great deal of respect for that league.”
GW Director of Athletics Jack Kvancz said he was a bit surprised with the seeding. Kvancz was a member of the tournament selection committee.
“I’m happy we’re in the tournament,” Kvancz said. “I thought maybe we’d be a higher seed.”
Senior Pops Mensah-Bonsu, whose injury was cited as a reason for a seemingly sub-par seeding, seemed confused about the matchup.
“It’s kind of funny how the ninth seed is playing at home,” Mensah-Bonsu said. “We don’t complain too much. We’re going to get ready to play. We win the games and that’s the best that we can do.”
Xavier, the A-10 champions, received a 14 seed and drew Gonzaga in Salt Lake City. Georgetown got a seven seed and will face the 10th-seeded Northern Iowa in Dayton, Ohio. George Mason was given an 11 seed and will face the sixth-seeded Michigan State in Dayton.