What a night for players, students, alumni, and fans of Grambling State. It took every second of regulation, and some overtime, but Grambling State Men's Basketball has won their first NCAA Tournament win in school history.

It didn't look good for Grambling during their "First Four" NCAA Tournament game against Montana State. The Tigers found themselves down by 14 points, and it looked like their season was about to end. That wouldn't have been all bad, it was the program's first trip to the NCAA Tournament after all. This just a handful of seasons removed from a program going winless in a whole season.

But this year's Grambling team, staring down a 14 point deficit, put the pressure on Montana State, and clawed back to tie the game up at the end of regulation. Then they pulled away during overtime to win their first ever NCAA Tournament game 88-81.

Grambling v Montana State
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Grambling was led by Sophomore guard Jimel Cofer, which was unexpected to say the least. Cofer didn't start the game, and didn't play at all in the first half. In fact, Cofer didn't play in the SWAC Championship Game win that sent Grambling to the NCAA Tournament either.

But Cofer came off the bench, and poured in 19 points...all in the second half and overtime.

ESPN reports that Grambling State players were actually arguing in the locker room as they were down 42-33 after the first half. But Grambling guard Jourdan Smith told ESPN that the team was still good to go after halftime, describing how the team operates by saying:

"We're a team that once we argue, five, 10 minutes later, we're going to get back, we're going to high-five, we're going to talk about adjustments..."

Grambling v Montana State
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Now that Grambling has their first win under their belt, they draw an incredibly tough matchup. They will now have to face the 2023 National Player of the Year Zach Edey and his Purdue team.

Purdue is a #1 seed, and has a 29-4 record this year. But this goliath does have weaknesses.

Last year, Purdue became the second #1 seed to ever lose to a 16 seed in the NCAA Men's Tournament. They lost to Fairleigh Dickinson, who also won a "First Four" game like Grambling did. So its not completely impossible for Grambling to keep this magical run going.

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