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Morehead State Eagles hoping to fly all the way to the ‘Final Four’

Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 3:20 PM EDT
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MOREHEAD, Ky. (WKYT) - All roads to the Final Four lead to, and end, in Indianapolis.

For those that know me, I make no bones about the fact that I am a proud Morehead State University grad.

Ten years ago, I watched the Eagles shock the basketball nation in the NCAA and, tonight, I’m hoping to see it again when they take on the West Virginia Mountaineers.

It is a familiar site in Indianapolis when March Madness rolls into town, this gigantic bracket, 47,000 square feet to be exact.

It’s a bracket the Morehead State Eagles hope to see with their name penciled in all the way to the Final Four.

This year’s NCAA tournament is one for the history books, the 67 games being played across six Indiana venues.

At Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Eagles will play tonight, attendance is set at 17,500.

While there won’t be as many MSU fans as Coach Preston Spradlin would hope for, he already feels the support all the way in Indy.

“You know it will be a little different, but I think all of the Morehead faithful are going to be there in spirit,” said Preston Spradlin.

Coach Preston Spradlin and his team have been inside the NCAA’s tight bubble since arriving in Indy Sunday. Seven negative tests are required to play, some say this bubble is even more stringent than the NBA’s bubble.

The Eagles have been taking it all in stride.

“First day and a half here was a little bit isolate, you know with testing, being in your rooms and meals being delivered to the rooms and things like that. Once we got through that you were able to get your team together for meals every day and meetings, study hall,” said Spradlin.

For MSU student Elle Howard, she has had a front-row seat to the team this season. She was a sideline reporter for ESPN web games for the Eagles.

“I’ve like watched the team from the beginning of the season till now and I’ve been here and I’m watching them grow,” said Elle Howard.

Howard is making the trip, but she says back on campus she has seen something else grow the excitement for the team.

“This is the first time I have really since COVID that I have really seen a lot of people on campus just come together to root for something,” said Howard.

In what has been a really tough year, it is not lost on Coach Preston Spradlin what being the only Kentucky team in the tournament means to his home state.

“It’s something that we welcome, something we are comfortable with and we take a lot of pride in, to be honest with you, and especially for me being from Kentucky and knowing what basketball means to the people throughout our state,” said Spradlin.

Now, in full disclosure, I’ll be cheering my Eagles on and I do have two brackets filled out because my godson is number 22 for West Virginia.

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