Overcoming crippling NCAA sanctions in the midst of a rebuild wasn't easy, but Jones now has Radford accomplishing goals the school has never achieved before.
Louisville 66, Northern Kentucky 58 - At Louisville, Ky.: Deng Adel had 20 points, including 16 during Louisville's hot-shooting second half that rallied the Cardinals past Northern Kentucky in a first-round NIT game.
As expected, Villanova received a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
How they make a run: Although it is extremely unlikely that the Blackbirds make any sort of noise in the tournament, perhaps the dynamic duo of Clark and Hernandez catch fire offensively, as they did in the Northeast Conference championship game.
Villanova carries a 30-4 record - its fourth consecutive 30-win season - into March Madness following its Big East tournament championship. With 16:35 left to go, back-to-back 3-pointers gave the Blackbirds a 38-35 lead, their first advantage since they led 3-2 at the 19:17 mark in the first half.
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.
The first game between 16 seeds Radford and LIU Brooklyn begins at 6:40 pm and the nightcap featuring Saint Bonaventure against UCLA will begin after 9:00 pm.
Another connection to UD Arena is LIU Brooklyn first-year head coach Derek Kellogg.
STREAKERS: Radford has won its last seven games. Radford also held Blackbirds' leading scorer Joel Hernandez to eight points, 12 below his season averaged of 20 ppg.
Jashaun Agosto of LIU Brooklyn handles the ball on offense against Radford during the first half of the First Four game in the NCAA Tournament at UD Arena on March 13, 2018 in Dayton, Ohio.
"Everybody's shocked because nobody believed in us but Radford", Highlanders junior forward Ed Polite Jr. told reporters.