The Midwestern State Mustang basketball team was resting up Friday night, getting ready for their second-straight trip to Massachusetts for the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.
Last year, the Mustangs were the favorite going into their game with St. Cloud State, but came up just short.
For this year's match up with 2nd-ranked Bellarmine, Wednesday morning at 11 AM, they know that one key will be getting off to a quick start.
Part of that is the alley-oop game we've seen so much.
Friday, Mustang star Chris Hagan talked about how it sparks the offense.
"We really like to set the tone early," said Hagan.
"You know, if we can get our big men involved, with dunks, alley-oops, it really gets them momentum, and it will help them out on the defensive end, so we try to get them going early.
"Coach does a great job of calling plays, and usually they're not expecting it, if they haven't seen us very often--haven't seen us play very often, and really it's just a way to try to get our big men going."
One advantage the Mustangs will have over Bellarmine on Wednesday will be Elite Eight experience.
The Mustangs have three players who saw minutes up in Springfield last year.
Also on Friday, we talked to Mustangs Head Coach Grant McCasland, and he talked about how those veterans can help.
"It will be big that we have Chris [Hagan], and Charlie [Logan] and Adrian Van Buren's experience," said Coach McCasland, "because they'll know where we're going to eat, what the gym will look like, and [won't] be surprised when they get out there in the first game and guys are making shots and it turns into a war.
"I mean, I think we felt like, we were supposed to win the last time, but we weren't as healthy as we are now. I mean, last year we were depleted. We really were. This year we have a lot more depth."
- Check out our coverage March 22nd and 23rd. Adam Ostrow will be reporting live from Springfield, Mass. at Noon, 5p, 6p, 9p, and 10p and will stay with the team as they fight for a championship title.