Ja Morant, Murray State depart from Evansville en route to first round game

Ja Morant, Murray State depart from Evansville en route to first-round game

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament starts Thursday.

For the first time in more than 30 years, two teams from the Ohio Valley Conference made the bracket: Murray State and Belmont.

Future NBA Draft lottery pick Ja Morant and the Murray State Racers flew out of Evansville today, en route to Hartford, Connecticut for their opening round game

Coming off of an exciting win at the OVC Championship in Evansville just a few weeks ago, Murray State is headed to Hartford, Connecticut for the first game of the tournament against Marquette. And you could feel the excitement on the runway as they boarded the plane.

This will be Murray State’s 17th appearance in the NCAA tournament.

Director of Athletics Kevin Saal says the team traveled from Paducah, choosing to fly out of Evansville because traffic is light and they love everything about the city.

The team isn’t traveling alone either.

“We’re traveling with about 120-130 today on a 150 seat plane that you see just over my shoulder, but we’ve got band, cheer, staff, donors, team, some administrators from campus, so it’s a big family and a lot of logistics," explains Saal. "Our staff’s done a really good job of getting folks organized.”

Murray State is a No. 12 and will face No. 5 seed Marquette at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Copyright 2019 WFIE. All rights reserved.