DAYTON, OH- The field for the NCAA men's basketball tournament is now set and later today 64 teams will begin play in college basketball's "big dance".
The North Dakota State University Bison are part of that dance after a 78-74 win over North Carolina Central Wednesday night in a "First Four" match-up.
With 17-points off the bench and eight players scoring points, this game was anything but a cake-walk.
The Bison traded points early with the competition and built a comfortable 13-point lead in the second half, but that's when the Eagles came charging back.
That was until Tyson Ward, NDSU Junior Forward, took over and seized control over the game. Ward said he can only describe playing "out of his mind" near the end of the game as NDSU kept their foot on the gas for a win.
"I'm not even gonna lie to you guys, there's so many things running through your mind like, 'Oh what if I miss it? What if this, that and the other,'" said Ward.
"You just gotta calm that out and just go quietly in your mind and everything follows through."
Tyson Ward snagged 23 points for the Bison in Wednesday's game.
Vinnie Shahid, NDSU Junior Guard talked about the team's dynamic and each player's talents on the court.
"I mean if you look at it, there's nobody really averaging a super high amount. One through fourteen, anybody can come in and contribute," said Shahid. "It's really amazing that our team is like that."
Cameron Hunter, NDSU Sophomore Guard says the experience was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"This is something you've been dreaming about since you were a little kid. To actually be in that environment, in that moment right there is amazing," said Hunter.
And when the buzzer went off, Rocky Kreuser, NDSU Sophomore Forward, says he just stood on the court in shock with his arms raised above his head.
"It's an amazing experience," said Kreuser. "It's one thing to make the tourney but to win the game is something different."
As for Ward, he says he doesn't remember specific moments from the game, but he knows he gave it everything he had.
NDSU now moves on to play top-seeded Duke Friday, March 22, in Columbia, S.C.