NAIA National Championships Preview – Second Round
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Second Round Schedule
No. 5 LSU Shreveport (La.) vs. No. 13 Pikeville (Ky.) Live Stats/Box Score | Live Video
No. 2 Oklahoma Wesleyan vs. No. 7 Ottawa (Ariz.) Live Stats/Box Score | Live Video
No. 4 Morningside (Iowa) vs. No. 5 Kansas Wesleyan Live Stats/Box Score | Live Video
No. 2 Indiana Tech vs. No. 10 Evangel (Mo.) Live Stats/Box Score | Live Video
No. 3 Faulkner (Ala.) vs. No. 11 Southeastern (Fla.) Live Video
No. 1 Grace (Ind.) vs. No. 9 Madonna (Mich) Live Stats/Box Score | Live Video
No. 1 Arizona Christian vs. No. 8 Antelope Valley (Calif.) Live Stats | Box Score | Live Video
No. 6 Tougaloo (Miss.) vs. No. 14 SAGU (Texas) Live Stats/Box Score | Live Video
No. 2 Langston (Okla.) vs. No. 7 Southwestern (Kan.) Live Video
No. 3 Georgetown (Ky.) vs. No. 6 Indiana Wesleyan Live Stats/Box Score | Live Video
No. 3 Jamestown (N.D.) vs. No. 6 Peru State (Neb.) Live Stats/Box Score | Live Video
No. 4 Dordt (Iowa) vs. No. 5 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) Live Video
No. 1 William Penn (Iowa) vs. No. 8 Rio Grande (Ohio) Live Stats/Box Score | Live Video
No. 2 Florida College vs. No. 10 St. Thomas (Fla.) Live Stats/Box Score | Live Video
No. 4 Montana Tech vs. No. 5 Thomas More (Ky.) Live Video
No. 1 College of Idaho vs. No. 8 Xavier (La.) Live Video
NAIA Men’s Second Round Preview
Host: College of Idaho| Caldwell, Idaho
1. College of Idaho (1-0)
8. Xavier (La.) (1-0)
9. Hope International (Calif.) (0-1) – Eliminated 16. Westcliff (Calif.) (0-1) – Eliminated
College of Idaho vs Xavier
We knew that Xavier was tough defensively, but the Gold Rush have found something offensively as of late and have really been playing some of the best basketball in the entire NAIA. They are going to need to continue to have that newfound scoring ability today as they face off against the No. 1 team in the NAIA, College of Idaho. The Yotes did struggle a bit early yesterday against Westcliff but were ultimately able to pull away. They are really balanced on offense which makes them tough to scout. If Xavier can continue to shoot the ball well from deep, they will give themselves a shot at an upset, but Caldwell, Idaho is unforgiving, so you have to play your best to be able to knock off the Yotes at home!
Host: Alexandria Pineville Area CVB | Alexandria, La.
4. Huntington (Ind.) (0-1) – Eliminated
5. LSU Shreveport (La.) (1-0)
12. Thomas (Ga.) (0-1) – Eliminated
13. Pikeville (Ky.) (1-0)
We talked about how much we were looking forward to that UPike/Huntington game and it lived up to the hype. Teddy Parham and the Bears continue to play good basketball. They will need to keep playing good basketball today as Jalen Brooks is one of the best players in the NAIA and after being in foul trouble for most of yesterday’s game, will be ready for some blood today! The good news for the Pilots is that Damon Davis went for 37pts to help give LSUS the 107-104 OT win. The Pilots don’t shoot a ton of 3’s, so they have to manufacture points elsewhere. Pikeville is used to game planning for talented teams as they do so quite often in the Mid-South. This game should still come down to Jalen Brooks and Teddy Parham and if it is a close game, look for those two to have the ball in their hands a lot late.
Host: Loyola (La.) | New Orleans, La.
3. Loyola (La.) (0-1) – Eliminated
6. Tougaloo (Miss.) (1-0)
11. Texas A&M Texarkana (0-1) – Eliminated
14. SAGU (Texas) (1-0)
Delton Deal continues to be one of the best coaches in the NAIA and last night he got his Lions pat the defending National Champs, Loyola. There is no time to celebrate though as they face off against a tough Tougaloo team who, coming into the National Championships, a lot of people thought just dominated a bad league. The truth though, is that Cameron Copeland and Tougaloo are really good. The matchup of Copeland vs Cortland Blake is going to be a blast. Tougaloo is going to have to limit Brooks Haddock shooting and then keep Phil Weeks off the glass. Those are easier said than done, but if they can do that, they will have a shot to win this game.
Host: Florida College | Lakeland, Fla.
2. Florida College (1-0)
7. The Masters (Calif.) (0-1) – Eliminated
10. St. Thomas (Fla.) (1-0)
15. Life (Ga.) (0-1) – Eliminated
Florida College had a gutsy win last night against Life. FC is down two starters and while they have one of the best players in the NAIA in Matt Simpson, the depth does take it’s toll. They have had some guys step up into bigger roles now though and if Anthony Bitter can help lighten the scoring load again, the Falcons can win this game tonight. St. Thomas is playing with a lot of motivation right now. They have loads of talent and athleticism. They are going to have to guard the 3pt line tonight, but the Bobcats seem to show up big against good teams. They showed that yesterday with 23pt win over The Master’s. They have been able to really defend the other team’s best players and limit them offensively. If they do that tonight they will win big. However, Matt Simpson has been on a terror here late and is so smart and crafty. A very fun game that should provide a lot of excitement!
Host: William Penn (Iowa) | Oskaloosa, Iowa
1. William Penn (Iowa) (1-0)
8. Rio Grande (Ohio) (1-0)
9. Marian (Ind.) (0-1) – Eliminated 16. Saint Xavier (Ill.) (0-1) – Eliminated
They mentioned on the broadcast yesterday that William Penn has only lost 3 games at home in the past 5 seasons. Those losses are by 3, 3 and 5 points if I heard the announcer correctly. One of those losses, were last year in this game, to another River States Conference team IU Kokomo. The loss also came after they struggled a bit in the opening round win. There are a lot of similarities from last season coming into this one. Rio Grande is tough, physical and can matchup up with the WPU size. Shiloah Blevins and Miki Tadic have been great, and their youngsters continue to show up big. WPU will need to shoot better than they did last night, but this is also a team that absolutely rebounds the snot out of the basketball. They compete hard on the glass and have been tough defensively this season as well. The veteran Eddie Daley had a big outing last night of 12pts and 11rebs. Look for leading scorer, Malik Edwards to play better tonight for the Statesmen. Rio won’t be intimated by the environment in this one as Penn Gymnasium is known to be loud.
Host: Montana Tech | Butte, Mont.
4. Montana Tech (1-0)
5. Thomas More (Ky.) (1-0)
12. Eastern Oregon (0-1) – Eliminated 13. Westmont (Calif.) (0-1) – Eliminated
This should be a game featuring the Mid-South POY, Reid Jolly and the Frontier Conf POY, Caleb Bellach, but Bellach only played 1-minute last night, so we are uncertain of his status for today’s game. If he is ablet to go then the matchup between the two stud players is going to be a lot of fun. Either way, Asa Williams for Tech will be a big factor in this one. He has had a good stretch of games here and the Orediggers will be counting on him to show up big again today. Thoams More is looking to make a return trip to Kansas City after making it to the Fab Four last season. Jolly went for 22pts last night in their win over Eastern Oregon. For the Saints, Jacob Jones continues to be an x-factor for the Saints. He has really picked up his scoring this semester and for Thomas More to make a deep run, they will need him to keep being aggressive!
Host: Faulkner (Ala.) | Montgomery, Ala.
3. Faulkner (Ala.) (1-0)
6. Union (Ky.) (0-1) – Eliminated
11. Southeastern (Fla.) (1-0)
14. Shawnee State (Ohio) (0-1) – Eliminated
Faulkner is the lone SSAC team remaining, and they are looking to make their 3rd straight trip to Kansas City since the merger to one division. They face off today against a hot Southeastern team who boasts NAIA Player of the Year candidate Riley Minix. Riley has put up some insane stat lines again this season and seems to always show up in big games. SEU is going to have to slow down CJ Hines and Faulkner today though. CJ is a fun playmaker who can score it from all 3 levels. They rolled Shawnee State last night and as the home team today, will have a big advantage in this one!
Host: Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference | Park City, Kan.
2. Oklahoma Wesleyan (1-0)
7. Ottawa (Ariz.) (1-0)
10. Baker (Kan.) (0-1) – Eliminated 15. Concordia (Neb.) (0-1) – Eliminated
Both teams pulled out 2pt wins yesterday to advance to today’s game. Josiah De laCerda maybe had the shot of the year to help OUAZ advance. He had a game high 27pts in the win and chipped in 10 rebounds as well. OUAZ will need another big performance today as they face off against a tough and physical OKWU squad. Jaden Lietzke and Kaleb Stokes led OKWU to victory once again. If OUAZ is able to force the tempo they can turn OKWU over and win this game. They are also going to need to handle the OKWU mini runs that they go on over the course of games to put teams away. De laCerda and the Spirit are tough though so this should be a good one!
Host: Grace (Ind.) | Winona Lake, Ind.
1. Grace (Ind.) (1-0)
8. Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (0-1) – Eliminated
9. Madonna (Mich.) (1-0)
16. Columbia International (S.C.) (0-1) – Eliminated
Grace vs Madonna
Grace was the only 1-seed yesterday who didn’t really face any resistance as they rolled to the 101-72 win. There will be more resistance today though as they face off against a VERY good and VERY hot Madonna team. Madonna has the size to matchup against Grace as well. Not many teams can say that. Mark Mettie vs Elijah Malone will be a fun one on the inside. For Grace though, they are the deeper team and that may be the biggest difference maker. Madonna’s big 3, Mettie/Henry Speight/Brandon Young are tough, and this team will compete on the glass. This has the makings of one of the more physical games on the slate. Hopefully the refs let them play a bit, because this game is going to be FUN!
Host: Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) | Henderson, Tenn.
4. Dordt (Iowa) (1-0)
5. Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) (1-0)
12. IU Southeast (Ind.) (0-1) – Eliminated 13. Bethel (Ind.) (0-1) – Eliminated
Dordt vs Freed-Hardeman
Dordt is in a unique position as they are the better seed in this POD but have to play a true road game vs a tough FHU team today. The good news is that the Defenders didn’t struggle to adjust to a new gym yesterday as they put up 101 points in their win over Bethel (IN). FHU did struggle at home a bit yesterday, but eventually they were able to pull through and end IU Southeasts 15 game winning streak. Bryce Coppock went for 29 yesterday as all five Dordt starters went for double figure scoring. We will see how they bounce back today after playing a lot of minutes yesterday. FHU was without Ryley McClaren yesterday and relied on two guys who basically played all 40 minutes. So, they aren’t rested up either. There may be a lot of tired legs in this one, but you can expect the adrenaline levels to be soaring and that should help both teams!
Host: Georgetown (Ky.) | Georgetown, Ky.
3. Georgetown (Ky.) (1-0)
6. Indiana Wesleyan (1-0)
11. MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (0-1) – Eliminated 14. Lourdes (Ohio) (0-1) – Eliminated
Georgetown vs Indiana Wesleyan
Over the past 10-15 years, Georgetown mostly ruled the NAIA D1 ranks while Indiana Wesleyan mostly ruled the NAIA D2 ranks. These are two winning programs with two of the best head coaches in the entire NAIA. Both teams are also loaded with talent and can hurt you in numerous ways. Both are also coming into this game after having tough battles yesterday. IWU was able to hold off a tough charge from MidAmerica Nazarene and Georgetown fought off a pesky Lourdes squad. This was one of our favorite “potential” second round matchups headed into the National Championships and we are so HYPED for this game tonight! For Georgetown, it is going to be interesting to see how they choose to defend Seth Maxwell. The 7′ is a unique talent who can hurt you from a variety of different spots on the floor. For IWU, this game will come down to the toughness plays. They have to win the rebounding war and match the physical play. This is going to be a chess match between both coaches and the in-game adjustments are going to be a lot of fun to watch!
Host: Langston (Okla.) | Langston, Okla.
2. Langston (Okla.) (1-0)
7. Southwestern (Kan.) (1-0)
10. Northwestern (Iowa) (0-1) – Eliminated 15. Southern Oregon (0-1) – Eliminated
Langston vs Southwestern KS
One of the top defensive teams in the NAIA (Langston) vs one of the most elite scorers in the NAIA (Cevin Clark)?!?! SIGN US UP!!! What Cevin Clark has done over his past five games is incredible. He has point totals of 39, 44, 33, 29 and then had 33 last night against Northwestern (IA). It’s led to a 5-game win streak for the Builders. Langston struggled to get going a bit yesterday, but once they did, they rolled to a nice win. The SAC POY, Tristian Harper, had a night to forget going 1-9 from the field. You shouldn’t expect that to happen again tonight. Langston, with a win, would win more games in this year’s National Championships then they did for an entire season last year. That is remarkable and still one of the best stories in basketball. March doesn’t care about stories though; it is unforgiving and can end your season in snap of a finger. Tonight, one of these two very good teams are going home.
Host: Arizona Christian | Glendale, Ariz.
1. Arizona Christian (1-0)
8. Antelope Valley (Calif.) (1-0)
9. Wayland Baptist (Texas) (0-1) – Eliminated 16. Corban (Ore.) (0-1) – Eliminated
Arizona Christian vs Antelope Valley
ACU got a bit of a scare last night against Corban. This is the time of year though that teams just have to survive and advance, and they did that. Mikah Blackwell had 17 for ACU in the win. For Antelope Valley, they played with the chip on their shoulder that we were expecting them to have. This has been a team that has been overlooked all season long. The CALPAC POY, Michael Hayes went for 21pts in the win. They get another big opportunity tonight to prove just how good they are. Head Coach, Jordan Mast, can really coach and this UAV team will by hyped up for this one. Arizona Christian is ultra talented and finally healthy. Maybe one of the more under the radar games on today’s slate!
Host: Visit Wichita/Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference | Wichita, Kan.
4. Morningside (Iowa) (1-0)
5. Kansas Wesleyan (1-0)
12. IU Kokomo (Ind.) (0-1) – Eliminated 13. Columbia (Mo.) (0-1) – Eliminated
Morningside vs Kansas Wesleyan
Morningside got tested yesterday vs a tough Columbia team. They were able to find their stride late and made some big 3’s to continue to keep Columbia at bay. We have said ALL yearlong that a healthy Aidan Vanderloo makes a BIG difference. He went 4-6 from three last night on his way to a team high 22pts. KWU bounced back from their KCAC opening round loss with a route of IU Kokomo. One of the main things to keep an eye on tonight is the Alex LittleJohn vs Ely Doble battle. Two really good big men who are tough and physical. These two teams play really similar styles of play, so this should be a big-time basketball game!
Host: Jamestown (N.D.) | Jamestown, N.D.
3. Jamestown (N.D.) (1-0)
6. Peru State (Neb.) (1-0)
11. Mayville State (N.D.) (0-1) – Eliminated 14. Bethel (Kan.) (0-1) – Eliminated
Jamestown vs Peru State
Tho teams that sit in the mid-80’s in points per game, so you can expect a good pace of play in this one. We mentioned prior that Peru State is loaded with talent. They flexed some of that talent last night in their win over Mayville State as they put up 101 points and had two 20+pt scorers in David Wingett and Lorenzo Anderson. The Wingett/Mason Walters matchup tonight will be a fun one to watch. Walters is coming off of another BIG night as we went for 34pts. The Jimmies didn’t shoot that great from deep last night, so look for that to change today. As good as Jamestown is and has been this season, don’t overlook how good this Peru State team is. A very under the radar type team who is honestly quite dangerous.
Host: Indiana Tech | Fort Wayne, Ind.
2. Indiana Tech (1-0)
7. Iowa Wesleyan (0-1) – Eliminated
10. Evangel (Mo.) (1-0)
15. IU South Bend (Ind.) (0-1) – Eliminated
Indiana Tech vs Evangel
Indiana Tech looked like a well-oiled machine in yesterday’s win. They played a lot of guys and were able to rest their main core. That should help them on the back-to-back for today’s game. Evangel was the 1st team to get a National Championship win for the 2023 season. In case anyone needs a future million-dollar answer on a game show. They got a big game out of Edriel Martinborough, which was needed as the Heart Player of the Year, Josh Pritchett was held in check. The Valor is just 5-39 from deep in the past two seasons in opening round games. That will need to change tonight if they want to pull off a road upset!