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NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - First Four

Source: Ben Solomon / Getty

Just a day after Wagner College made NCAA history, the team’s been one upped by an HBCU.

Grambling State University has won its first NCAA tournament game after defeating the fellow 16-seeded Montana State Bobcats. However, it wasn’t an easy win in a game that included a forced overtime.

The Tigers trailed by as much as 14 points in the second half, but with March Madness magic on their side, they charted a comeback that included two 11-0 runs to make up for their slow start.

They were even down 42-33 at halftime, but after the second half started, they made adjustments on defense and were able to hold the Bobcats to just 30 points.

Then, with about a minute left in overtime, Grambling was up just two points when the crowd erupted after a putback dunk by Jourdan Smith, the team’s second-highest scorer, dropping 18 points and grabbing nine rebounds.

A quick look at the box score shows that it was largely thanks to guard Jimel Cofer, who scored 19 points despite averaging just 2.8 this season.

After the game, though, Cofer highlighted the camaraderie with his teammates as the source of his spark.

“I just know my team has my back,” Cofer said, according to Sports Illustrated. “Anybody on this team can get hot at any time. It was just my night.”

With the win, the Tigers became just the ninth HBCU to win a tournament game, a feat that head coach Donte’ Jackson says is all the more proof that his team is here to prove people wrong.

“They’re built on adversity,” Jackson told ESPN of his players. “I’ve got a lot of guys that come from underprivileged situations and things of that nature, and adversity is part of life. It’s about how you bounce back when you get in a bad situation.”

Like Wagner, it won’t be easy for Grambling to continue bracket-busting, as they’ll next play No. 1-seeded Purdue Boilermakers on Friday.

See how social media’s reacting to Grambling State advancing to the round of 64 below.

March Madness: HBCU Grambling State Makes History By Winning Its First Ever NCAA Tournament Game In Overtime Thriller  was originally published on cassiuslife.com

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