No. 1 NKU upset 89-80 by No. 8 Cleveland State on Saturday night at Motor City Madness

Photo taken by Same Greene, orginally published on

This story originally ran in The Cincinnati Enquirer on March 3, 2018

Northern Kentucky spent all season preparing for five days.

It was always about March 2-6 in Detroit, when the Norse would play their “best basketball,” win Motor City Madness for a second-straight year and play in the NCAA Tournament again.

Approaching the Horizon League conference tournament, NKU head coach John Brannen said he didn’t want his team to think it could just “flip on the switch” and play great basketball. But then March 2-6 arrived and on March 3, in NKU’s first game, that switch never came on.

NKU lost 89-80 to Cleveland State on Saturday night at Little Caesars Arena in the Motor City Madness quarterfinals. The No. 1 seed after securing their first Horizon League regular season title in program history, the Norse had an early 15-point lead and lost to the No. 8 seed. (continue reading here)

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