Thu, Mar. 2, 2017 - [Men's Basketball]
The Rochester College Warriors found out their seed and who they would be playing in the first round of the NAIA National Basketball Tournament on Wednesday evening. The 29-2 Warriors drew the #2 seed and will take on #7 seed York College out of Nebraska on Thursday, March 9th at 6:45pm EST. The tournament will take place at Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, MO and will run from March 8th-14th. After only being in the NAIA for five years, this will be the Warriors' second appearance in the NAIA National Tournament and their first since 2013 while the Panthers will be making their third appearance and second in a row.
"The NAIA National Tournament is a great experience," said Rochester College Head Coach Klint Pleasant
. "This is our second trip in our first five years of being in the NAIA. One of our assistant coaches reminded me that only 23% of the NAIA teams are still playing (in the NAIA National Tournament), so we're happy for our guys. York has a fantastic team and a great program. We will focus and prepare this week. Our main goals will be to play hard and represent RC well."
The Warriors enter the tournament by virtue of being the Association of Independent Institutions Conference Tournament runners-up while York won their automatic bid by winning the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament.
The match-up should be an interesting one as the Warriors rank #1 in the NAIA in scoring defense per game (63.9) while the Panthers rank #10 in the nation in scoring offense (90.1). Both teams do a great job of taking care of the basketball as the Warriors are 2nd in turnover margin (5.06) and the Panthers are 6th (4.27). York comes in winning 11 games in a row while the Warriors have won 19 of their last 20. Both teams have a balanced scoring attack as they each have six players who average seven points or more per contest.
The winner will take on the winner of the game between Briar Cliff (IA) and Bellevue (NE). The second round game will take place on Friday, March 10th at 5:00pm EST. A full bracket can be found at http://www.naia.org/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=27900&ATCLID=211099998.