Middle Tennessee's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 24 years did not last long as the Blue Raiders were downed by St. Mary's 67-54 in Dayton, Ohio.
The Blue Raiders trailed 29-20 at the half and got within a basket in the second half, but they could not slow down Matthew Dellavedova who had 22 points.
Middle Tennessee (28-6) got 12 points from Marcos Knight. Middle was making its first trip to the Tournament since 1989. The Blue Raiders earned one of the last “at-large” invitations after losing in the semi-finals of the Sun Belt Tournament.
With the win St. Mary's advances to the second round to meet the Memphis Tigers Thursday in Auburn Hills, Michigan.