They were cheered on as they walked out of the McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium in Durham on Monday.
"It's my first tournament so I'm pretty excited," said Raekwon Harney, NCCU point guard. "Every college basketball player's dream is actually to go to March Madness to the NCAA tournament, so I'm pretty excited about it."
The @NCCU men’s basketball team walks out of the McDougald-McLendon gymnasium to cheers.— Gloria Rodriguez (@GloriaABC11) March 12, 2018
The Eagles will play Texas Southern in the NCAA basketball tournament Wednesday. #ABC11 #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/ewncworVTL
The No. 16-seeded Eagles will play fellow No. 16-seeded Texas Southern, from Houston, at the First Four in Dayton, Ohio, at 6:40 p.m. Wednesday.
"I expect it to be a typical college basketball March Madness atmosphere," said CJ Wiggins, NCCU point guard. "We're going to be ready just like I know they're ready, so it's going to be a real good game."
RELATED: What you need to know about Triangle teams in the 2018 NCAA tournament field
"At this point in the season, you're not playing any teams that's a cakewalk," said LeVelle Moton, Central's head coach. "Those games are over. It's the best 68 teams in America and no one is going to beat themselves. You have to beat them."