EWU seeded 13 in the South region of NCAA tournament

(13) Eagles will take on (4) Hoyas on Thursday night

Photo Credit: EWUAthletics Twitter

Photo Credit: EWUAthletics Twitter

By Fetlew Gebreziabher and Brandon Cline

For the first time since 2004, the Eastern Washington Eagles will be dancing in March.

The 13 seeded Eagles will take on the 4 seeded Georgetown Hoyas in Portland, Oregon, on March 19 in the South Region.

“I’ve watched this show for over 30 years; I can remember being a little kid with paper and pencils and making my own bracket, writing it in. And for the first time ever, to see your name there, is just a really cool moment,” said head coach Jim Hayford. “I’ll remember that. And to think so many of my friends tomorrow, when they go and fill out their brackets at their office, they have to pick a 13 seed. It’s awesome to put all that pressure on my friends.”

EWU clinched their automatic bid to the big dance after defeating the University of Montana in the Big Sky Conference Championship, 69-65.

Sophomore forward Felix Von Hofe said the 13 seed is the perfect place for his team.

“I was very happy, and happy to get a 13 seed, I think that’s where we belong. I haven’t actually watched a huge amount of college basketball, but we have a huge amount of respect for Georgetown as you can see by their record. They are a fantastic team and very well seeded,” said Von Hofe. “We really look forward to playing them and it is an honor to be playing a program like Georgetown and I can’t wait.”

Von Hofe scored a career high 23 points off the bench, including seven 3-pointers in the Eagles’ 91-83 win against Sacramento State in the semifinals on Friday.

For the seniors, they could not have asked for a better way to have their final collegiate season go. Their success is testimony of building a program from the ground up.

“It is a very special feeling, to be able to go there my senior year, finish it off right,” said senior guard Parker Kelly. “Coach Hayford and the rest of us have been building this program since the day I got here. And to finally see all the pain and suffering and all the fruits of our labor pay off, it is a very special feeling.”

The Georgetown Hoyas finished with a 21-10 record overall and were 12-6 in the Big East Conference. The Hoyas fell to the University of Xavier on Friday in the Big East Tournament semifinals.

This will be the first ever matchup between the schools. It will be EWU’s second ever NCAA tournament appearance versus Georgetown’s 30th appearance.

The Eagles and Hoyas will tip off as the nightcap game on Thursday in Portland at approximately 6:57 P.M.

Here’s the entire bracket for the 2015 NCAA tournament

Photo credit: NCAA.com