On Monday afternoon, a little more than 24 hours after the University of Pennsylvania beat Harvard to win the Ivy League Tournament championship, Quakers sophomore forward AJ Brodeur of Northboro still couldn’t believe his team was heading to the NCAA Tournament.

“It still feels surreal to me,” Brodeur said in a phone interview before Penn’s practice. “I woke up today feeling like I woke up from a really good dream.”

The reality is that Penn, behind Brodeur’s 16 points and 10 rebounds, downed Harvard, 68-65, to earn the Ivy’s automatic bid and will make its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007.

The Quakers, a No. 16 seed, will face No. 1 seed Kansas at 2 p.m. Thursday in Wichita.

“It was such an amazing experience,” Brodeur said, “something I’ve never felt before, accomplishing something as significant as the Ivy League championship. It has been a crazy past 24 hours with the game, cutting down the nets, watching the selection show and finding out where we’re going, and getting in the mindset of how we’re going to take on Kansas.”

Penn will try to become the first men’s No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed.

“We have work to do,” Brodeur said, “but we will embrace the opportunity we have being able to continue our season. We’re not taking the extension of our season for granted.”

The 6-foot-8 Brodeur, who attended Algonquin Regional for two years before transferring to Northfield Mount Hermon, has had two very good years at Penn. As a freshman, he started every game, led the team in scoring (13.8 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg) and earned second-team All-Ivy honors.

This year, Brodeur is averaging 13.1 points and a team-best 7.1 rebounds. He poured in a season-high 30 points in a win over Columbia in January.

Brodeur played exclusively at the 5 position last season. This year, coach Steve Donahue has overseen his transition to playing at the 4 spot as well.

“Last year, I was only the 5, under the hoop, rim to rim,” Brodeur said. “This year, Coach Donahue wanted me to step out and be a 4 man, shoot the 3-pointer and extend my range while we can play another center and have two bigs on the floor at the same time. That is an ideal setup. So far, with the help of my coaches and teammates, who have been very encouraging to me to make that extra step, I think I’m making strides. I’m not quite where I want to be in that aspect yet, but there’s a lot of time to go and a lot of college ball to play and hopefully it only gets better from here.”

Brodeur averaged 17.5 points, 15.5 rebounds and 7 blocks during a dominant sophomore season at Algonquin. He earned T&G Super Team honors in both basketball and volleyball that year.

Brodeur transferred to Northfield Mount Hermon, reclassified as a sophomore and played three outstanding seasons for coach John Carroll, the former Assumption star. Brodeur was named team MVP his senior year and led NMH to the NEPSAC AAA title.

“Those three years were vital to my progression as a player,” Brodeur said, “and our league, the NEPSAC AAA, is one of the best leagues at preparing college athletes to play at this Division 1 level. Coach Carroll prepared me better than anyone to play at the level I’m at right now.”

Brodeur is one of seven NMH alums in this year’s tourney. At least one NMH graduate has played for the Ivy League champion in each of the past nine seasons.

Against Kansas, Brodeur will face a former NEPSAC foe in sophomore guard Devonte Graham, who played at Brewster Academy.

Coming out of NMH, Brodeur received offers from several other D1 schools, but felt Penn and the Ivy League offered him the best opportunity athletically, academically and for his future profession. He is enrolled in the Wharton School of Business.

Brodeur’s mom, Jerri, lives in Northboro, and through the years she has traveled to Florida, San Diego, France and Belgium, among many other places, to watch her son play.

“She hasn’t missed a game in years,” Brodeur said proudly. “There’s no shot she’s missing the game in Wichita.”

Central Mass. in NCAAs

Also playing in the NCAA Tournament are St. Bonaventure senior guard Matt Mobley and Providence freshman guard Makai Ashton-Langford, who are both from Worcester.

Mobley, who starred at Worcester Academy, set a school record with 102 made 3-pointers this season. He helped lead the Bonnies into a First Four game against UCLA (No. 11 seed vs. No. 11 seed) Tuesday night.

Ashton-Langford, who led Brewster Academy to a national prep championship, had four points and three rebounds in PC’s thrilling win over Xavier in the Big East semifinals. The Friars are a No. 10 seed and face No. 7 Texas A&M Friday.

Among the others with local ties in the NCAA Tournament are Iona assistant Eric Eaton of Worcester and a former Holy Cross assistant; URI assistant Tom Moore of Millbury and the former Worcester State coach; College of Charleston assistant Milan Brown, the former Holy Cross coach; Nevada graduate assistant Patrick Ackerman of Rutland and a Worcester Academy graduate; and Arizona assistant director of basketball operations Austin Carroll, who is also a Worcester Academy alum.