NAIA Men's Division I Championship Brackets Set
Submitted on March 8, 2018
Georgetown College men’s basketball learned its NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship fate Wednesday evening through the Play NAIA Facebook broadcast reveal. The No. 9 Tigers (25-6) earned a three seed in the Naismith Bracket. They will face No. 22 Central Baptist College (Ark.). Tip is set for 2:15 pm EDT Wednesday afternoon in Kansas City, Mo.
There are several ways to track the Tigers in the tournament. Darrin Douglas and Jenny Elder will be on the audio stream only through Georgetown’s stretch portal: portal.stretchinternet.com/georgetown. The NAIA will be streaming live video for the first 30 games with the championship game being broadcast on ESPN3. The video stream can be purchased in two ways – $9.95 gets a daily pass or for $34.95 fans can watch every game.
“Playing for a national title in Kansas City is always one of our main team goals,” said GC coach Chris Briggs. “We are excited to be in the mix of what is one of, if not the most, difficult national tournaments. To win five games in six or seven days depending on how the brackets fall is grueling.
“Our journey starts against a very strong American Midwest Conference team in Central Baptist. It will be a battle from the opening tip to the final horn, and we better be ready.”
Most recently, Georgetown has locked up in national tournament showdowns with AMC’s Park University. This is the first meeting between GC and CBC.
National tournament wise, it will be one of veteran verse newcomer as GC makes a nation-leading 37th appearance (27th straight – also best in the country) and CBC received its first bid to Kansas City.
The Mustangs (21-8) finished second behind Columbia College in their conference. CBC lost in the semifinals of the conference tournament to eventual winner Harris-Stowe State University.
Central Baptist is a force on the boards – five of six top 25 team national statistical rankings are in rebounding. They are second in rebounding margin, third in offensive rebounds per game, seventh in total defensive rebounds, eighth in total rebounds per game and 21st in total offensive rebounds. GC is 22nd in total offensive rebounds with one less than the Mustangs.
The Tigers come in with 15 rankings as a team inside the top 25. Of the 14 other categories, it is split evenly amongst offense and defense. GC is 24th in three-point field goal percentage, 12th in field goal percentage, fourth in scoring offense, third in scoring offense per game, second in threes made per game and total made threes. The seventh offensive mark – Georgetown is ranked second in scoring margin. CBC is also among the top 25 in that, coming in at 25th. GC is outscoring opponents by 20.5 points per game, while Central Baptist is tallying a cushion of 9.1 ppg.
The Tigers biggest defensive marks are first in the turnover battle, seventh in three-point field goal percentage defense, 10th in field goal percentage defense, 11th in steals per game, 13th in total steals and 23rd in blocks. GC is also third in assist to turnover ratio.
Georgetown started the season hot, posting a 16 game winning streak – the best start under Briggs. The Mustangs also had a good starting, winning five of its first six games. However, it was a midseason run where they really started to roll – winning 14 in a row.
They finished the regular season losing two straight, including a 102-99 overtime loss to Lindenwood University Belleville. CBC bounced back to beat LUB in the first round of the conference tournament before falling to HSSU.
GC finished the regular season winning eight of its last 13 games. The team won a quarterfinal matchup with Cumberland University before falling to eventual MSC tournament champion Lindsey Wilson College.
Beyond the first round pairing, the Naismith Bracket might be the toughest out in Kansas City. The two seed went to Oklahoma City (currently tied in the coaches’ poll for ninth with GC). OKC has a nation-best six NAIA national titles. The four seed is No. 13 Louisiana State University Alexandra and the overall tournament number one – No. 1 The Master’s – sits atop the Naismith Bracket.
The bottom half of the Georgetown side of the bracket is the Cramer Bracket. University of the Cumberlands and Lindsey Wilson College are both in the mix there as a five and a seven seed respectively. William Penn is the number one seed.
The University of Pikeville got the number one seed in the Duer Bracket, which also has Campbellsville University. Life University rounds out the MSC representatives as a six seed in the Liston Bracket.
(Prepared by Jenny Elder, SID)