Travis Fields Jr of Radford during the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
Some of the biggest plays for the Blackbirds were by guard Joe Hernandez, who hit a key 3-pointer with 30 seconds left and cut the Radford lead to just 30-28 at the half.
Radford next faces East Region No. 1 seed Villanova in the first round of the tournament on Thursday.
Not only were the Highlanders coming off a 24-loss season in which they recorded only two Division I wins, the previous staff was also in the NCAA's crosshairs for providing impermissible benefits to recruits and then misleading investigators about it.
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"It's a blessing to be able to play with these guys and be a part, make history with these, with my fellow teammates and coaching staff, so it's an fantastic feeling right now", said Jones, who made the buzzer beater to seal the win over Liberty in the Big South Tournament Championship. The Highlanders won their final seven games of the season - including a buzzer-beater over Liberty - to send them to their first Big Dance since 2009.
Carlik Jones had a substantial and loud cheering section at University of Dayton Arena, a lot of folks traveling about an hour up Interstate 75 from his Cincinnati hometown to see him play for Radford in a First Four game. With AP Photos.LIU-Brooklyn, victor of the Northeast Conference Tournament, faces off against Radford on Tuesday night in the opening First Four game in Dayton, Ohio.
LIU Brooklyn's Jashaun Agosto (3) lays up a shot during the first half of a First Four game of the NCAA Tournament at UD Arena on March 13, 2018 in Dayton, Ohio. When looking at how many favorites have been knocked out in the first round as a No. 2 seed, it's only a matter of time before a No. 16 seed pulls off the unthinkable by becoming the first team to finally earn a win.
The Highlanders' defense helped limit LIU Brooklyn's leading scorer, Joel Hernandez, to just eight points.