Philly Sports Live

WKU rallies to beat MVSU 59-58 in NCAA opener

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) The only team with a losing record in the NCAA tournament got it started with a classic March comeback.

In front of a presidential audience, no less.

T.J. Price’s three-point play with 33 seconds left completed a furious rally from a 16-point deficit, and Western Kentucky held on for a 59-58 victory over Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday night.

President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron had front-row seats to see the tournament open with a ragged game that had an engrossing finish.

The Hilltoppers (16-18) are the longest of long shots, the only squad in the 68-team field with a losing record. They turned up the full-court pressure in the last 5 minutes, overcoming a 16-point deficit with a comeback that won over the crowd at University of Dayton Arena.

After the buzzer sounded, Obama and Cameron headed out, fans still buzzing over what had just happened. Somehow, the Hilltoppers won despite shooting 30 percent from the field and turning it over 28 times.

March Madness indeed.

Western Kentucky moves on to play Kentucky – the top seed in the South Regional – on Thursday in Louisville, an all-Bluegrass game for the second round.