"I don't know how we get in whether it's win the tournament or make the finals," Downey said.
"We just have to keep winning."
Last season, the Golden Eagles went all the way to the conference championship game before losing to West Liberty in overtime.
State Coach Bryan Poore described his team's performance this season as "frustrating."
The Yellow Jackets shot a dismal 28 percent in the first half and trailed UC 50-27 at the break.
"We could never get on the same page and never get some confidence, some chemistry, and some momentum," Poore said.
The Jackets did outscore UC in the second half 48-42, but the 23-point halftime deficit was too much to overcome.
Poore remains hopeful about Tuesday's rematch.
"If we play every possession like it's our last then I think we've got a chance," he said.
All first-round tournament games are Tuesday night. The higher seeds host games on campus sites.
West Liberty, the top seed, finished 27-1 overall and 21-1 in league play and earned a first-round bye.
The other matchups are: No. 15 Ohio Valley at No. 2 Fairmont State; No. 14 Bluefield State at No. 3 Alderson-Broaddus; No. 13 Davis & Elkins at No. 4 Wheeling Jesuit; No. 11 Glenville State at No. 6 Shepherd; No. 10 W.Va. Wesleyan at No. 7 Seton Hill; No. 9 Pitt-Johnstown at No. 8 Concord.