No. 5 Midwestern St. will leave for the NCAA Div. II Elite Eight Monday morning. The Mustangs will face No. 12 Western Washington at 1:30 p.m. (Central time) Wednesday.
It's familiar territory for MSU as the Mustangs return for the third-straight season, but the team has lost to open up the tournament the past two years. Saint Cloud State topped MSU in 2010, while Bellarmine, the 2011 National Champion, beat MSU last season.
The players and coaches are hoping that previous experience changes the results this time around.
"Just the vibe, of the coaching staff and locker room, is that this is next step of what we're supposed to do," MSU head coach Nelson Haggerty said.
Click on the videos to hear the Mustangs talk about the Elite Eight, and watch a story on Wichita Falls native Keonte' Logan's impact as a Mustang, plus a story on MSU's preseason motivation after the team received no votes for the preseason top-25.
Stay with Newschannel 6 and Newschannel6now.com for continuing coverage of the Mustang 3-Peat!
What better way for Midwestern State to spend their first full day at the NCAA Division II Elite Eight?
The Mustangs enjoyed a morning of practice followed by a shoot around at the Bank of Kentucky Center on the campus of Northern Kentucky University
From there, MSU spent an hour at the Buenger Boys and Girls Club.
The team entertained a group of 70 kids as coach Nelson Haggerty delivered a strong message encouraging the bunch to set goals and they too could become not just collegiate athletes but more importantly great students.
"A lot of our guys including myself grew up in Boys Clubs," he said. "I'm not sure who had the better time our guys or the great kids here at Buenger."
Each member of the Mustangs introduced himself before the energized Buenger bunch returned the favor with numerous questions.
The visit culminated with an on-floor demonstration of "Slam It" before senior forward Chris Buttermore treated the crowd with a session ending double windmill slam dunk.
Later in the evening, the team enjoyed a great dinner at the Montgomery Inn restaurant in Fort Mitchell, Ky.
Midwestern State opens NCAA Division II Elite Eight play with a quarterfinal round contest against No. 12 Western Washington. Tipoff is set for 1:30 p.m. (Central Time)
The game will stream live on NCAA.com or you can listen locally on 100.9 BOB-FM win Wichita Falls. The audio stream simulcasts on bobradio.fm.
Fan gatherings are set for The Parkway Grill and Buffalo Wild Wings.
Midwestern State coach Nelson Haggerty and senior guard Michael Loyd earned National Association of Basketball Coaches' All-South Central Region honors as released Friday afternoon.
Haggerty was named the region's coach of the year after leading the Mustangs to a 29-3 mark and guiding the team to a third consecutive NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearance.
The first-year head coach is no stranger to making deep postseason runs as he has been on the bench for five of the last six Elite Eights.
As part of Kim Anderson's staff at Central Missouri, he helped the Mules to national quarterfinal showings in 2007 and 2009 before moving on to become Grant McCasland's top assistant at Midwestern State. The Mustangs have claimed South Central Region titles in each of the past three seasons.
Haggerty was also named Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Mustangs to a sixth conference championship and a postseason tournament title.
Loyd added to his postseason resume by earning a first-team all-region honor. He was named to the Daktronics All-South Central Region squad earlier this month.
The 6-1 guard was named the Most Outstanding Player of the South Central Regional after averaging 14.7 points and 4.0 assists per game which included a season-high 21-point performance in a 72-63 win over Washburn in the semifinal round before tallying 19 points in a final round victory over Arkansas Tech.
Loyd leads the Mustangs in scoring with 13.0 points per game this season.
Loyd is joined on the first team by Washburn guard Will McNeill, Missouri Southern's Keane Thomann and Jason Adams, Cameron's Milton Garner and Tarleton State's Fabian Wilson.
The second team consists of St. Mary's center Kevin Kotzur, Northwest Missouri's DeShaun Cooper, Southwest Baptist's Ryan Dougherty, Central Missouri's Dominique Long and Arkansas Tech's Johnie Davis.
Midwestern State opens Elite Eight play with a quarterfinal showdown with West Region champion Western Washington Wednesday afternoon at The Bank of Kentucky Center in Highland Heights, Ky. Tipoff is set for 1:30 p.m. (Central Time).