Ja Morant, Murray State punch ticket to March Madness

Ja Morant might be the best college basketball player not in a Duke uniform, and we’ll get to see him work his magic during March Madness.

With a 77-65 win over top-seeded Belmont in the Ohio Valley Conference championship game on Saturday, Murray State became the first team to punch its ticket to the NCAA tournament.

Which means more highlight-reel plays like this one will be coming:

Morant had 36 points, seven rebounds and three assists — including eight points in the last six minutes of regulation — willing his team into the bracket of 64. He made a game-winning turnaround shot in the semifinals to beat Jacksonville State that set social media ablaze on Friday night:

The sophomore made a sensational leap from his freshman season to become one of the most highly coveted prospects in this year’s NBA draft. Morant received just one offer from a Power Five school, and it’s safe to say he has proven the college basketball world wrong.

RELATED: The best photos from March Madness: Round of 64

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The best photos from March Madness: Round of 64
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The best photos from March Madness: Round of 64
BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Johnathan Williams #3 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs battles for a rebound against James Dickey #21 of the UNC-Greensboro Spartans in the first half during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Taco Bell Arena on March 15, 2018 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 15: Cyril Langevine #10 of the Rhode Island Rams goes up for a shot between Brady Manek #35 and Khadeem Lattin #3 of the Oklahoma Sooners in the second half of the game during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at PPG PAINTS Arena on March 15, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - MARCH 15: Donte Ingram #0 and Marques Townes #5 of the Loyola Ramblers celebrate after Ingram makes a game-winning three pointer against the Miami Hurricanes in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at American Airlines Center on March 15, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - MARCH 15: Keith Stone #25 of the Florida Gators goes up for a shot against Tshiefu Ngalakulondi #5 of the St. Bonaventure Bonnies in the second half in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at American Airlines Center on March 15, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. The Florida Gators won 77-62. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
WICHITA, KS - MARCH 15: Trey Kell #3 of the San Diego State Aztecs reacts after his teams loss to the Houston Cougars in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at INTRUST Arena on March 15, 2018 in Wichita, Kansas. The Houston Cougars defeated the San Diego State Aztecs 67-65. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Kevin Knox #5 of the Kentucky Wildcats and Oskar Michelsen #15 of the Davidson Wildcats battle for the ball in the second half during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Taco Bell Arena on March 15, 2018 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
WICHITA, KS - MARCH 15: Khadeen Carrington #0 and Desi Rodriguez #20 of the Seton Hall Pirates pressure Allerik Freeman #12 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack in the second half during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament at INTRUST Arena on March 15, 2018 in Wichita, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Zach Norvell Jr. #23 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs makes a three point basket in the second half against the UNC-Greensboro Spartans during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Taco Bell Arena on March 15, 2018 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - MARCH 16: Rondale Watson #23 of the Marshall Thundering Herd dives for a loose ball late in the second half against the Wichita State Shockers during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Viejas Arena on March 16, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: The Buffalo Bulls bench celebrates in the second half against the Arizona Wildcats during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Taco Bell Arena on March 15, 2018 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - MARCH 16: Isaac Haas #44 of the Purdue Boilermakers reacts after falling to the court on a foul by Cal State Fullerton Titans during the second half of the game in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Little Caesars Arena on March 16, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - MARCH 16: The Marshall Thundering Herd bench reacts after a play in the second half against the Wichita State Shockers during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Viejas Arena on March 16, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 16: Cody Martin #11 of the Nevada Wolf Pack scores against the Texas Longhorns in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament held at Bridgestone Arena on March 16, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
Charlotte NC - MARCH 16: UMBC forward Arkel Lamar (33), center, flies past Virginia guard Kyle Guy (5), right for a slam dunk during UMBC's upset of the University of Virginia in the 1st round for the mens NCAA basketball tournament at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte NC on March 16, 2018 . (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 16: The UMBC Retrievers bench reacts to their 74-54 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Spectrum Center on March 16, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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His average of 24.2 points per game ranks eighth in the country and he has broken the 30-point plateau in five games this season. He also dishes out 10.3 assists a game, easily best in the nation.

Bottom line: Morant is an offensive machine, and that is not good for any team that happens to draw Murray State in the tournament. We’ve seen in the past how dynamic scorers can will their team to March Madness upsets, and most of America will be rooting for Morant and the Racers come tournament time.

“I feel like we can get one,” Morant said in a postgame interview on ESPN, when asked about the tournament.

If he keeps scoring like he did to get Murray State to this point, it’s hard to argue against him.

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