Howard University Bison men's basketball back in NCAA tournament for 1st time in over 30 years
WASHINGTON - The Howard Bison are going dancing in the NCAA men's basketball tournament!
That first dance will be held in Des Moines, Iowa.
The men's basketball team found out they will face-off the Kansas Jayhawks in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, during Sunday night's Selection Show at The Gathering Spot in northwest D.C..
Team captain Jelani Williams says this is a dream come true.
"We were prepared for any team to be honest. At the end of the day, they are going to play us," said Williams.
The Jayhawks are the number on seed in the tournament.
Head Coach Kenneth Blakeney says he's looking forward to the match up with the 2022 reigning champions this Thursday.
"I watched them last year in the national championship game. I saw them in the semis and in the finals. I have a lot of respect for Coach Bill Self. They will be ready. They are a great program with a lot of history and tradition," said Coach Blakeney.
The Bison are also writing their own history as well. As this years, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions, this is the first time the team has been in the NCAA tourney in 31 years.
"It's a great feeling. It's a long time coming for this university," said Williams.
Sophomore Byrce Harris is filled with excitement.
"It's special being able to do this with the people you battle every day with in practice, to be able to show it on a big stage which is march madness," said the 6'4 guard.
For D.C. native and DeMatha Catholic High School graduate, Elijah Hawkins it's a special moment.
"I wouldn't want to compete with anybody else," said Hawkins.
Williams tells me he isn't nervous about the face-off on Thursday. His focus is leading and encouraging his teammates.
"This is what we do and live for. Everybody grows up dreaming about this moment," he adds.
As they savor in this moment, Coach Blakeney says it's time to get to work.
"The Pit. We are going to be in the pit tomorrow!"
These men have a message for the fans who have been with the team on this journey.
"Thank you, guys, for believing in us. Thank you for even when we had our down moments, thank you for staying solid," said Harris
"Tune in. We are going to put on a show. We gonna shock the world," adds Williams.