* NCCAA CHAMPIONSHIP *
SHORTER PEOPLE GOT PLENTY OF REASONS TO LIVE – The National Christian College Athletic Association tournament has provided us with plenty of exciting basketball since its Wednesday tipoff. True to form the NCCAA Championship Game boasted a wealth of drama as well, with the SHORTER UNIVERSITY HAWKS and the OKLAHOMA CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY EAGLES going into Overtime before the new champs were crowned.
OCU was going for its second title in the past three years but the Hawks would have none of it. When the dust had settled in the extra session Shorter University emerged with a 90-87 victory in this Instant Classic. Enroute to the title game SU defeated Mid- America Christian University and top- seeded Fresno Pacific University. Congratulations to the Hawks!
* NJCAA3 CHAMPIONSHIP *
PARTYING IN THE GARDEN STATE – The National Championship game in NJCAA Division Three was played yesterday between New Jersey’s BROOKDALE COLLEGE JERSEY BLUES and the state of Texas’ EASTFIELD COLLEGE HARVESTERS. The first half of the game was a defensive epic and ended with the Harvesters reaping a slender 23-21 lead.
The coaching staff of both teams drew up solutions headed into the second half and the scoreboard heated up, with 72 points put up between the two title contenders. By game’s end Brookdale won by a score of 61-55 and walked away with the 2013 championship after an excellent 33-1 season. The Jersey Blues had put away Herkimer College and Rochester Tech on their way to the National Championship game.
* D3 HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP *
BLUGOLDS STORM LAKE PLACID – Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, NY was the site of the NCAA Division 3 hockey championship. With the top three seeds eliminated along the way the 4th seeded EAU CLAIRE BLUGOLDS and the 5th seeded OSWEGO STATE LAKERS were left to battle for it all. The Lakers got off to a 2-0 start before the Blugolds’ senior captain (and tournament Most Outstanding Player) Jordan Singer put his team on the board with a goal of his own.
The 1st Period ended with the score tied at 2-2 and Eau Claire took their first lead of the night in the 2nd, which ended with them holding a 3-2 advantage. In the 3rd Period the Blugolds went up 4-2 but the Lakers slammed in another goal of their own to make it 4-3. That’s where the score remained until Eau Claire notched an Empty Net goal with just under a minute left to seal the win. Congratulations to the Blugolds for their first ever National Championship in hockey and goodbye to the NCHA, which played its last year as a conference this season.
* NAIA ELITE EIGHT *
THE TOP SEED TAKES A FALL – The top- seeded COLUMBIA (MO) COUGARS were upset last night by the LSU- SHREVEPORT PILOTS (riverboat pilots) in one of the most dramatic games in the Division One tournament for the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics). This loss marks the very first loss for Columbia in literally A YEAR!
The Cougars started out with a 12-3 lead and still held a 42-36 advantage at halftime. The 2nd half saw the Pilots playing catchup for the opening 10 minutes, then beginning a stretch of lead exchanges with Columbia for over 4 minutes. With 5:35 left to play LSUS took the lead 70-69 and would not give it back. A few minutes later a 79-75 Pilot lead was trimmed to 79-78 with a half-court three from the Cougars. That marked the end of the scoring, however, as LSUS advanced to the Final Four with this 79-78 victory.
FIGHTING LIKE CATS AND DOGS – The 6th seeded SOUTHWESTERN ASSEMBLIES OF GOD UNIVERSITY LIONS watched a VERY comfortable lead evolve into a touch and go battle for survival against the 14th seeded MONTANA WESTERN BULLDOGS. A very strange 1st half saw the Lions possessing a 23-8 lead at one point and by halftime SAGU was probably daydreaming about their first- ever Final Four appearance since they were ahead by an embarrassing 34-12.
The Bulldogs slipped into their superhero costumes during the intermission and improved their play. Beginning at the 10 minute mark Montana Western began sinking threes with giddy abandon, turning a 55-35 SAGU lead into a 62-57 nailbiter. With just 50 seconds left in the game the score was 76-71 in favor of the Lions, who went 8 for 8 in free throws during the remaining “all fouling all the time” period to walk away with an 84-79 win.
NUMBER TWO TRIES HARDER – The 2nd seeded LINDSEY WILSON COLLEGE BLUE RAIDERS are now the highest- remaining seed in the tournament. Last night they clashed with the MIDAMERICA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY PIONEERS for the right to move on to the Final Four. The opening half was fairly bland and featured the Blue Raiders taking a 33-22 lead before the buzzer sounded.
Both teams went berserk with their scoring in the 2nd half, with the Pioneers actually outdoing Lindsey Wilson 52-50. Unfortunately for the MNU faithful they had dug themselves too deep a hole at the break, so all they could do was watch as the Blue Raiders advanced to Monday night’s semifinals. The final score in this game was Blue Raiders 83 Pioneers 74.
MONTY WILSON, NOT MONTY PYTHON – Completing the NAIA Division One Final Four for 2013 are the 13 seeds, the GEORGETOWN (KY) TIGERS. The Tigers won a heart-stopping game against the CULVER STOCKTON WILDCATS when Monty Wilson gave them a two- point advantage of 84-82 with a J at the 31 second mark. Wilson also led Georgetown College in scoring with 23 points and managed 9 rebounds.
Things looked bleak for the Tigers at the half as they trailed CSC by a score of 52-37, but GC refused to quit. Before CSC could say “choke” Georgetown had made the score 56-53 with just over 15 minutes left in the game. The Tigers tied things up down the stretch and then Monty Wilson’s jumper and two free throws from Allan Thomas sealed the 86-82 win.
* D3 SWEET SIXTEEN *
MOVING ON – In the NCAA Division 3 Sweet Sixteen the top seeded ST THOMAS TOMMIES eked out a 63-62 victory over the hard-fighting (12) CALVIN KNIGHTS to move on to the Elite Eight. The Tommies led 31-26 at halftime but Calvin outscored them 36-32 in the 2nd. ### The (7) MIDDLEBURY PANTHERS won an equally close 73-72 game with the ITHACA BOMBERS. Like St Thomas the Panthers got outscored in the 2nd half despite leading 36-34 at the break. Both teams advance, so no harm done.
MORE COMFORTABLE MARGINS – Meanwhile, the (2) AMHERST LORD JEFFS won a more comfortable 93-76 affair over the RANDOLPH MACON YELLOW JACKETS. ### The (8) WILLIAMS EPHS defeated the (25) VIRGINIA WESLEYAN MARLINS 84-75. ### The (3) N CENTRAL CARDINALS bounced the (10) IL WESLEYAN TITANS by a score of 83-73. ### And the ST MARY’S (MD) SEAHAWKS also moved on to the Elite Eight by topping the MORRISVILLE STATE MUSTANGS 84-66.
UPSETS – Though it was mostly favorites advancing yesterday in D3 there were a pair of upsets to add spice to the day. The UNIVERSITY OF MARY HARDIN BAYLOR CRUSADERS surprised the (6) WHITWORTH PIRATES by a final score of 71-63. ### … And completing the 2013 Elite Eight for NCAA Division 3 are the CABRINI CAVALIERS, last year’s runners- up, who moved on in this season’s tournament with a 70-63 triumph over the (20) WOOSTER SCOTS.
* D2 ROUND ONE *
SEVEN OVER TWO UPSETS – The NCAA D2 tournament resumed Round One play yesterday. All the 1 seeds advanced but a few 2 seeds found themselves the victims of upsets. The UNIVERSITY OF BRIDGEPORT PURPLE KNIGHTS stunned the ST ANSELM HAWKS by a score of 77-66. ### … And the SLIPPERY ROCK ROCKETS eked out a 69-67 win over the WINSTON- SALEM STATE RAMS.
TWO SEEDS TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS – The LINCOLN MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY RAILSPLITTERS (love that name) had their hands full with their 7 seed opponents the UNC- PEMBROKE BRAVES. The Railsplitters won an 82-80 Instant Classic to advance. ### The (2) ST MARY’S (TX) RATTLERS routed the (7) CAMERON AGGIES by a score of 75-57 ### The HUNTSVILLE CHARGERS topped the CHRISTIAN BROTHERS BUCCANEERS 60-58 ### The SOUTHERN INDIANA SCREAMING EAGLES beat the WAYNE STATE WARRIORS 79-70 ### And the NORTHEASTERN STATE RIVERHAWKS fell to the (2) WINONA STATE WARRIORS 70-57.
SIX OVER THREE OR CLOSE TO IT – The BENEDICT COLLEGE TIGERS were the only 6 seed to triumph over a 3 seed yesterday. Benedict sent the ECKERD TRITONS home after a nailbiting 68-65 loss. ### Meanwhile the only other 6 seed to even come close to an upset in yesterday’s action were the INDIANAPOLIS GREYHOUNDS, who fell to the BELLARMINE KNIGHTS by a score of 67-61.
THREE SEEDS MOVING ON – The (3) IUP CRIMSON HAWKS advanced with a 76-68 win over the (6) EAST STROUDSBURG WARRIORS ### The FT LEWIS SKYHAWKS routed the ADAMS STATE GRIZZLIES 95-73 ### The ASSUMPTION GREYHOUNDS took out the SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE PENMEN by a tighter 73-65 ### The UPPER IOWA PEACOCKS fell to the AUGUSTANA VIKINGS 79-65 ### And the BARTON BULLDOGS bounced the MONTEVALLO FALCONS 81-73.
FIVE OVER FOUR OR CLOSE – The HARDING UNIVERSITY BISON were the only 5 seed to topple a 4 as they upset the CENTRAL MISSOURI MULES in a 75-71 game for the ages. ### The (5) LIMESTONE SAINTS fell to the WINGATE BULLDOGS by just 65-60 ### And the ROLLINS TARS (as in jacktars) lost a 59-53 defensive epic with the ST LEO LIONS.
FOURS OVER FIVES – The (4) MICHIGAN TECH HUSKIES eliminated the (5) PARKSIDE RANGERS by a score of 86-75 ### The FAIRMONT STATE FALCONS dispatched the LIVINGSTONE BLUE BEARS 91-73 ### And the NEWMAN UNIVERSITY JETS found themselves routed 81-60 by the MIDWESTERN STATE MUSTANGS.
ONE SEEDS TCB – All the 1 seeds defeated the 8 seeds, with the METRO STATE ROADRUNNERS beating the TARLETON STATE TEXANS 76-65 ### The WEST LIBERTY HILLTOPPERS put up a Century Club- level 114 to the 82 scored by the BOWIE STATE BULLDOGS ### The FLORIDA SOUTHERN MOCS took out the UNA LIONS 94-80 ### The FRANKLIN PIERCE RAVENS dismissed the BLOOMFIELD DEACONS 90-78 ### The MN STATE MAVERICKS bounced the ARKANSAS TECH WONDER BOYS 81-65 ### And the AIKEN PACERS won out 94-76 over the BELMONT ABBEY CRUSADERS.