NAIA Semifinals Preview
As we sit here in Kansas City, reflecting on the season, it’s crazy to think that this is the final weekend of the 2022-23 NAIA basketball season. Thinking back on the moments, it’s been a really fun season and you can bank on the fact that these final three games are going to be a blast as well.
Road To Muni Podcast
Fab Four Preview – Road To Muni Podcast
Fab Four Breakdown
1-seed College of Idaho vs 7-seed Ottawa (AZ)
Plain and simple, College of Idaho, during their 34-game win streak, has been so, so good. Oddly enough though, the win streak began with a win against Ottawa, as the Yotes were coming off of the loss to Arizona Christian and then ended their Arizona road trip with a 83-72 win back in early November. Neither team is the same team that they were back then, but it is certainly something that will help both teams prepare for this game! College of Idaho comes into the Fab Four winning their first two games in Kansas City by an average of 32.5 points. As good as they have been, this time of year it just takes one game to end your season. The Yotes play so hard though and are so unselfish that it is hard to see them simply playing poorly. Instead, look for Ottawa to match the CoI energy and compete on the glass with them. If the Spirit are going to pull off the upset and continue their season, they are going to have to limit the Yotes second chance points, run them off the 3pt line and not turn the ball over against the matchup zone. Don’t be fooled by the “7” next to their name. They are much better than both their seed and their record and after winning the GSAC Tournament Title they have shown how tough they can be as well. There are a lot of people expecting the Yotes to continue to run away with wins, but the Spirit led by Josiah De’laCerda and Keshawn Bruner have been playing the underdogs all season long and will look to prove people wrong once again!
2-seed Indiana Tech vs 3-seed Georgetown (KY)
Both of these teams come into this game off of BIG wins over the 1-seeds in their quadrants. For Georgetown, they may have the best stretch of wins of any of the four teams here. They have knocked off Lourdes, Indiana Wesleyan, Langston and Grace already in the NAIA National Championships. That is seriously quite the road as their last two wins were against teams who spent most of the year inside the Top 5 in the country. We have talked since the preseason magazine on what Jake Ohmer back for Georgetown meant for them and the show he put on inside Muni last night was one of the top ones we have seen in the National Championships. Add in what Kyran Jones did in the second half against Grace and you have two guys, who are used to winning in their careers, showing just how dominant they can be. Speaking of winning, Head Coach Chris Briggs, moved to 23-6 all-time inside of Municipal Auditorium. The Tigers are tough, physical and have the depth and talent to win another National Title. Standing in their way in this game is the oldest team in the NAIA in Indiana Tech. The Warriors put on quite the show in last night’s win against Arizona Christian. The Warriors play hard, battle tough on the glass and play with so much heart and passion. Their main core returned this season for a reason, and they were rewarded with a Fab Four appearance. Rog Stein and company are a lot of fun to watch, and Corey McKinney’s energy is contagious! This should be a really physical and passionate basketball game between two really good teams!