BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Everyone knew they were in. Bonaventure proved that with a victory Sunday afternoon against VCU to clinch the Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship and get an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. They had to play the waiting game on Selection Sunday.

“I dreamed of something like this as a kid,” junior guard Jaren Holmes said.

Now everyone knows their first round opponent. St. Bonaventure takes the #9 seed in the East Region and will face 8th-seeded LSU in the opening round.

LSU is fresh off a run to the SEC Tournament Finals where they lost to Alabama. The Tigers are 18-9 after the conference tournament and have a pair of wins over ranked opponents this year. It won’t be an easy challenge out of the gate for the Bonnies.

“Looking forward to playing LSU,” head coach Mark Schmidt said. “It really didn’t matter who we were playing. Just getting into the tournament is exciting for our guys and it was a goal of ours at the beginning of the year to get to the NCAA tournament and looking forward to playing a great LSU team. We’ll see what happens.”

Bonaventure is in a tough region overall in the East. If they beat LSU, the road doesn’t get any easier. They’ll most likely face the #1 seeded Michigan Wolverines in the second round. It’s a difficult task, but the team is taking it one step at a time while understanding the challenges ahead.

“Just us being competitors as a group, we want to play the best,” Holmes said. “We want to continue to play the best, so us up against Michigan or up against LSU or the great teams that are in this tournament, I mean, you want to make it the tournament to play the best because you ultimately want to be the best yourself so this is just another great moment, great steppingstone in the right direction for us as a program and in history.”

“It’s going to be tough getting out of the first game against LSU,” Schmidt said. “You’re playing a Southeastern Conference team, top 100 players, they probably have a couple of top 50 players. It’s going to be tough. You can’t look ahead. I know we are the ninth seed and I know if we are lucky enough to beat LSU we’ll play I would assume Michigan and everybody knows what they did this year, but we just got to take it, coach talk, but you gotta take it one game at a time.”

Bonaventure and LSU meet this Saturday at 1:45 p.m. in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.