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The Heart of America Tournament – Championship Preview

The Heart of America Tournament – Championship Preview

By naiahoopsreport_admin March 2, 2021 0 Comments

2021 Heart Tournament Bracket

Quarterfinals

February 25th

S3 Baker @ N2 Mount Mercy

N4 Grandview @ S1 Benedictine 

S4 MidAmerica Nazarene @ N1 William Penn 

N3 Clarke @ S2 Park 

 

Semifinals

February 27th

N2 Mount Mercy @ S1 Benedictine 

S2 Park @ N1 William Penn 

Finals

March 2ND

 S1 Benedictine @ N1 William Penn 7pm CT Watch Live

League Notes:

The top seed:  #2 William Penn
NAIA Locks: William Penn, Benedictine, Park
NAIA Bubble Teams: 
Best chances to win this tournament:  William Penn, Benedictine

Possible sleeper:   Baker – eliminated

KEY PLAYERS:

Kevion Blaylock – William Penn: 17.6ppg, 10.2rpg 

Heart Player of the Year

– 15pts, 10rebs in opening round win over MidAmerica Nazarene.

– 7pts, 6rebs in Semifinal win over RV Park

 

Kamari Newman – William Penn: 14.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 

– 13pts, 3rebs in win over MidAmerica Nazarene.

– 35pts on 9-11 from 3 in the 2nd Half in Semifinal win over RV Park

 

Jaiden Bristol – Benedictine: 12.6ppg, 5.9rpg, 5.44apg, 1.5spg

– 10pts, 8rpg, 8apg in quarterfinal win over Grandview.

– 31pts on 15 of 16 from FT line in Semifinal win over Mount Mercy

 

Eric Krus – Benedictine: 14.6ppg, 5.0rpg

– 24pts, 7rebs in Quarterfinal win over Grandview

– 11pts, 6rebs in Semifinal win over Mount Mercy

 

 

KEY TEAMS:

N1 William Penn – Won 98-68 over MidAmerica Nazarene in the 1st round. The Statesmen had six guys in double-figures, with not one player over 15pts. In the Semifinals against Park, they found themselves down at half before Kamari Newman went off in the 2nd Half, going 9-11 from 3 and scoring 32 of his 35 points.

S1 Benedictine – Beat Grandview in the opening round. Eric Krus paced six Ravens in double-figures with 24pts. He added in 7 rebounds as well. Jaiden Bristol had 10pts, 8rebs, 8assts. He then went off for for 31pts in the semifinal win against Mount Mercy. Bristol is the heartbeat of this Raven team. One of the most underrated players in the country. 

 

UPSET SPECIAL: 

S3 Baker – Lost to Mount Mercy in Opening Round

Championship Game Notes:

 S1 Benedictine @ N1 William Penn 7pm CT Watch Live

William Penn 1-0

William Penn has a scoring margin of 24.58 on the year, however, #24 Benedictine had the Statesmen beat earlier this season before missing FT’s down the stretch and allowing for Kevion Blaylock to take over the game late. Coach Moody at Benedictine really does a great job of getting his guys to play their best basketball of the season at the end of each season. The Ravens are doing that now and are very good defensively. If they can slow down the Statesmen tonight they have a chance. WPU has mostly rolled through the Heart of America this year. They are deep, talented, athletic, play really hard and while Blaylock and Newman are studs, you can’t just focus on stopping just those two. The team that controls the tempo tonight should win this game!

OTHER NOTES:

The Heart Championship Central Page

The Heart has (2) auto-bids plus the Host Site bid, getting 3 teams into the NAIA National Tournament. William Penn clinched the regular season title auto-bid. Benedictine will get the Tournament auto-bid if WPU or them win the Heart tourney. Host site bid is TBD.

Our Pick To Win It:  William Penn University – We have seen some upsets already around the country, but this William Penn team is deep, talented, shares the basketball and is better defensively then people may think. Plus they are at home where only one team has gotten within 20pts of them this season.

 

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