Liberty looks for upset against Mississippi State

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (WDBJ7) -- Liberty University finished up one of its best regular seasons by winning the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament and securing a No. 12 seed in the NCAA Championship. Now, the Flames are looking to top that in the postseason.

Liberty (28-6) claimed the Atlantic Sun Conference’s automatic bid with the tournament championship victory at Lipscomb. With 28 wins, Liberty matched its program record for victories in a season.

“I think we’ve prepared our group in such a way that we’re really focused on our next opponent as well as are getting better ourselves. That seed line won’t define us,” Liberty coach Ritchie McKay told the News & Advance. “

The Liberty men’s basketball team was a 16 seed for its first three trips to the NCAA Tournament, but the No. 12 slot is the highest the school has earned.

No. 5 Mississippi State, coached by ex-UCLA boss Ben Howland, finished 23-10, good for sixth in the SEC. The game likely will be a styles clash, as the Flames like to play a slow tempo compared with the Bulldogs' more up-tempo attack.

The game is set to begin at 7:27 p.m.