NORFOLK, Va. — 8 years is a long time to be sitting on the sidelines. ODU's last trip to the NCAA tournament came in 2011. They enter this year's Conference USA tournament as the #1 seed for the first time. They need to win it all to get back to the big dance.

The Monarchs won the conference regular season title for the first time ever and finished with a (23-8) record. This is also the first time in their 6 years in C-USA that ODU is anything better than a #5 seed. They made it to the championship game once, but are looking for their first league tournament title.

After clinching the regular season title, the Monarchs fell flat the last two games of the regular season. It's time for another level of intensity. As B.J. Stith puts it,  "I think the guys understand going into the tournament right now, how desperate we need to be."

The tournament is in Frisco, TX. ODU opens play on Thursday against the winner of Florida Atlantic vs. Louisiana Tech.