Towson State loose awaiting its foe


Towson State University basketball coach Terry Truax and guard Devin Boyd have the ideal opponents for the Tigers in the first round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament.

"BYE, we always seem to do well whenever we go against BYE," said Truax, laughing, while spelling out the word.

Boyd chimed in: "Leo, that's who I'd prefer."

"Leo" is the imaginary friend of Truax's daughter. Truax and his players are apparently loose as they wait for tonight's announcement of the 64-team bracket to see who their first-round opponent will be and where they will be playing.

Towson (19-10) earned an automatic bid to the tournament after beating Rider, 69-63, Tuesday for the East Coast Conference championship.

Last year after winning the conference title, Towson played then-No. 1 Oklahoma in the first round, losing, 77-68. A fan displayed a sign in the Towson Center on Tuesday proclaiming the Tigers wanted to play No. 1 and defending champion University of Nevada-Las Vegas in the opening round.

"Everybody's student body says they want to play UNLV," Truax said. "It's kind of fun and good for exposure, but really, it's more up to whom the players would like to play.

"Last year, the guys wanted to play Oklahoma, and we matched up with them well and played them tight," Truax said. "Personally, I would prefer to play teams like an Indiana, North Carolina or Duke where I know their systems instead of an Arkansas or Syracuse where I really don't know the systems. Wherever we go, we're going to have to be at least the 15th seed."

Truax said he heard Murray State fans displayed a sign Thursday night, saying they wanted Towson State.

"Hey, that's cool," Truax said jokingly. "I'll play them or one of those teams that didn't make it to the field in the opening round."

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