NORFOLK (WAVY) – As we inch closer to March Madness, the ODU men’s basketball team is starting to play its best basketball of the season.

The Monarchs have three games in a row are in the middle of a four-game conference road trip.

ODU won both road games last week, a 63-60 win at Georgia State and a last second, buzzer-beating win over Texas State on Saturday courtesy of Lone Star State native Imo Essien who made the game-winning lay up as time expired.

“They know I’m the guy from Texas,” Essien said on Tuesday. “To have that type of shot go in and have them trust me to put myself in position to make that shot, it means the world to me.”

ODU (16-10, 8-6) next play at James Madison on Thursday and then at Appalachian State on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Old Dominion women are the hottest team in the Sun Belt conference.

Winners of five-straight games, the Lady Monarchs are back home on Thursday against App State and then home again on Saturday against JMU.

ODU currently sits in a three-way tie for second place in league play and just a game back of first place Troy.

Coach Delisha Milton-Jones has ODU poised to make a run at the NCAA Tournament, something that eluded the Lady Monarchs for 15 years.

“We’re finally finding our balance,” Milton-Jones said. “Before early on in the season, we weren’t scoring at the efficiency that we’d like to, but now we’re finding our defense is creating offense and we’re converting that into points.”