Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 21, 2009

Morehead makes name for itself

DAYTON, Ohio — The power of athletics is far-reaching.

Morehead State University, absent from the NCAA Tournament for the past 25 years, made enough of a national splash with its play-in victory on Tuesday that it’s practically a household name.

“This is big time,” said MSU President Dr. Wayne Andrews. “We had a huge crowd there Tuesday (in the play-in game, a 58-43 victory over Alabama State). They were estimating 4,000 to 5,000. We have so many alumni in Ohio.”

And so many fans everywhere.

Even though Morehead State’s stay in the tournament ended on Friday with a loss to Louisville at the University of Dayton Arena, the benefits from the trip will be reaped for a long time, Andrews said.

“It makes people swell with pride,” he said. “It provides us with coverage we couldn’t buy. We couldn’t afford it.”

Andrews was all smiles before the game. He was excited about what was ahead for Morehead.

“We’ve got one senior, Leon Buchanan, and everybody else is coming back,” he said. “We can expect to have a big season.”

Morehead finished 20-16, becoming only the third team in school history to win 20 games. That was one of the benefits of the play-in game.

While some may have considered it a negative, Andrews said Morehead State made it a positive in all ways.

“We didn’t see any of the negatives,” he said. “We got an extra share (from the play-in game) and a share from the first round. We were only the game on television (Tuesday). All of those were positives.”

Especially after getting the victory, the first in a tournament since a play-in win over North Carolina A&T; in 1984.

Strong finish

Leon Buchanan, the only senior on Morehead’s roster, finished with 17 points and four rebounds.

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