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LSU Begins NCAA Tournament at Same Site as 2006 Final Four Squad

Thirteen years later, LSU returns to the site of where it all began for a magical run to the Final Four.

LSU basketball hopes to create some more March Madness in this year’s NCAA Tournament. LSU (26-6) will face Yale (22-7) in a first-round matchup on Thursday (11:40 a.m., TRUTV) from Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

SEC regular season champion LSU lost 76-73 to Florida in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.

LSU is the No. 3 seed and Yale is the No. 14 seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament.

History supports LSU getting past Yale, as No. 3 seeds are 115-21 in first-round matchups (84.6 percent), per CBS Sports.

Based on projections from TeamRankings.com, LSU has an 86.3 percent chance to make it to the round of 32, 47.4 percent odds of reaching the Sweet Sixteen, a 19.2 percent possibility of advancing to the Elite Eight and a 6.3 percent chance of being in the Final Four.

If LSU defeats Yale, they’ll play the winner of No. 6 Maryland vs. No. 11 Belmont/Temple in the round of 32.

In 2006, LSU defeated Iona and Texas A&M in the first two rounds from Jacksonville en route to advancing to the Final Four.

“We’re excited,” LSU interim head coach Tony Benford said to NOLA.com. “Hopefully we can make a similar run that they made.”

Benford is effusive in his praise for LSU’s opponent.

“It’s a quality Yale team that’s well-coached. I’ve known coach James Jones for a while,” Benford said. “He does a great job with his guys. They’ll be a huge challenge for us.”

In their lone matchup, Yale defeated LSU in 1969 at the Rainbow Classic in Hawaii.

LSU appreciates the opportunity to compete for a championship in the single elimination tournament.

“We’re 0-0 now. It’s win or go home,” Benford said to NOLA.com. “There’s no more tomorrow. Our guys understand we need to leave it all out there.”