Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

UD basketball teams ready to step on NCAA Tournament stage

Quinn Kirkpatrick
Delaware Public Media

The University of Delaware has a full NCAA Tournament dance card Friday.

Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams play first round games.

The men are in Pittsburgh for a 2:45pm date with Villanova.

Head coach Martin Ingelsby and the Hens’ earned their first tournament appearance since 2014 with a surprising run to the CAA title last week.

Ingelsby says he’s enjoying the fruits of his six years of work at UD.

“We’re thankful for it.  We’re grateful for the opportunity to be here representing the University of Delaware," said Ingelsby.  "It’s fitting because I thought we had some teams that were good enough to get here.  We had some transfers.  We had a COVID year.  So to come back and be able to do it like we did, I think it’s a great story."

UD is the 15 seed in their region, making the Blue Hens a major underdog against the 2nd seeded Wildcats.

But after pulling three straight upsets in the CAA Tournament last week as the 5th seed to punch their tourney ticket, the Hens are comfortable with that.

“I think we’ve kind of taken on the underdog role and embraced it," said guard Ryan Allen. "So, we’re going to keep using that to fuel our batteries."

"There were a couple of games during the regular season that we might have under performed that kind of led to that underdog status, but when we reached that CAA tournament, we didn't feel like qe were underdogs. We knew we could go out there and win every game, and we did," said forward Dylan Painter. "So going into this, being the underdog again, we're justgoing to go out there confident like we were last week."

The UD men are looking for their first-ever NCAA tourney win – as well as their first victory against Villanova. The Hens are 0-15 all-time against Villanova.

UD also hits the floor as an underdog in the NCAA Women’s Tournament.

The Blue Hens, a 13 seed, face 4th seeded Maryland at Maryland at 5 p.m. Friday.

Like the men's team, UD's women are undaunted by the challenge in front of them.

"We're just going to continue to play Delaware basketball. we got here with our defense and making shots and just working together overall," said guard jasmine Dickey. "We just need to stick to our formula."

UD is making its fifth NCAA tournament appearance and first since 2013.

The Blue Hens have never beaten the Terps, losing all 14 previous meetings.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.