*** NAIA ***
ELITE EIGHT, FIRST BERTH – The (3) LIFE UNIVERSITY RUNNING EAGLES managed a minor upset against the (2) HOPE INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY ROYALS.
The Royals were on top of the Running Eagles 36-32 at the break, but from there Life University (No affiliation with the School of Hard Knocks) played a game for the ages, overtaking Hope International and squeezing out an 80-78 triumph. Jonathan Beausejour and Dalarian Williams each notched 20 points for the Running Eagles while adding 8 and 4 rebounds respectively. Continue reading
ELITE EIGHT – GAME ONE – For newbies to Balladeer’s Blog I’ll point out that Division Two uses a regional system that allows for more than just four One seeds and Two seeds. At any rate last night the 2nd seeded UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL MISSOURI MULES kicked things off in a hardcourt battle with one of the 1 seeds – the SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT STATE OWLS. The Mules had managed a little bit of separation by Halftime and led 45-39. After the break what was already a terrific game became an Instant Classic as the Owls offered an in-your- face challenge to UCM until at last the 2 seeds pulled away. In the end the Mules moved on to the Final Four with a 98-88 victory. Daylen Robinson’s 28 points led Central Missouri.
ELITE EIGHT – GAME TWO – Another One seed – the METRO STATE UNIVERSITY ROADRUNNERS – faced the only true Cinderella remaining in the NCAA Division Two tourney – the 8th seeded TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY GOLDEN TIGERS. The level of competition at last caught up with the hard-fighting Golden Tigers and by the break the Roadrunners had “beep- beeped” their way to an impressive 42-28 lead. The 2nd Half was an offensive explosion for both teams but Tuskegee was never going to win a battle of exchanging baskets and Metro State triumphed by a Century Club-worthy score of 106-87. Brandon Jefferson tossed in 26 of those 106 points to lead the Roadrunners. Continue reading
* NCAA D2 ELITE EIGHT *
METRO STATE TO THE FINAL FOUR – NCAA Division Two’s tournament uses eight separate regions instead of four, so that means eight number 1 seeds. SEVEN of those 1 seeds made it to the Elite Eight in this year’s very odd “All chalk, all the time” tourney. The only non-1 seed was a 2 seed, so no Cinderellas for 2013. The (1) METRO STATE ROADRUNNERS advanced to the Final Four with a 78-65 victory over fellow 1 seeds the FRANKLIN PIERCE RAVENS. The Roadrunners “beep-beeped” their way past the Ravens with an astonising 16 to 2 run during the final four minutes of the game.
GIVE US WEST LIBERTY OR GIVE US DEATH – In what has become a Tournament of 1 Seeds the WINONA STATE WARRIORS stood out as a 2 seed in the Elite Eight. The WEST LIBERTY HILLTOPPERS battled the Warriors for the right to move on to the Final Four. Offense was no problem for either team and an 11-0 run to close out the 1st half put the Hilltoppers up 50-41 at the break. In the 2nd half West Liberty left Winona State coughing in their dust and led by as many as 31 points for a time. The game ended with the Hilltoppers having scored a Century Club- level 110 points to the 84 scored by Continue reading
* NJCAA1 CHAMPIONSHIP *
RED WHITE AND BLUE CHAMPIONS – In an “All Florida, All the time” battle for the National Championship in NJCAA Division One the 3rd seeded COLLEGE OF CENTRAL FLORIDA PATRIOTS faced the upstart 9 seeds, the NORTHWEST FLORIDA STATE RAIDERS, for the 2013 title. As they have so often this season the Patriots got the better of the Raiders (and nobody can blame the Tuck Rule – I’m kidding) once again. CCF completely shut down the Raiders standout player Chris Jones in the 1st half – and I mean shut down as in HE GOT ZERO POINTS. Meanwhile, Patriots star and tournament MVP Eugene McRory led his team with 23 points. CCF led 43-33 at the break and in the 2nd half withstood a spirited charge from the Raiders to win by a score of 74-69. Congratulations Patriots!
* NJCAA2 CHAMPIONSHIP *
WARRIORS TAKE THE TITLE – In the NJCAA Division Two Championship Game the 4th seeded REND LAKE COLLEGE WARRIORS got off to a 19-3 lead over their opponents, the 7th seeded MORAINE VALLEY COLLEGE CYCLONES, and never looked back. The Cyclones, who had excelled in spotting postseason opponents leads only to come storming back (see what I did there), finally dug themselves too big a hole to get out of. By halftime the game was a yawner, with Rend Lake College sporting a 48-26 advantage. The Cyclones performed Continue reading
*D3 ELITE EIGHT *
THE CRU ADVANCES – In the NCAA Division 3 tournament the UNIVERSITY OF MARY HARDIN BAYLOR CRUSADERS aka “the Cru” upset the (11) ST MARY’S (MD) SEAHAWKS last night. The Seahawks actually held a 32-26 halftime advantage but UMHB refused to quit. In the 2nd half they came storming back and ultimately won a 69-66 Instant Classic.
TOMMIES TRIUMPHANT – The top seeded UNIVERSITY OF ST THOMAS TOMMIES battled the 8th seeded WILLIAMS COLLEGE EPHS (pronounced “eephs”) for the right to advance to the Final Four. The Ephs seemed primed for an upset and had seized a 47-39 lead by the break. The Tommies regrouped and Continue reading
The LSU- Shreveport Pilots (logo at left) are part of the NAIA’s Elite Eight teams that will be playing today. Meanwhile the NJCAA3 Championship Game will pit the Sandhills Flyers against the Cedar Valley College Suns. The NCAA D3 title game features the Whitewater Warhawks (current D3 football champs) vs the Cabrini Cavaliers.
Four double- digit seeds advanced with upset wins yesterday. The Pilots (as in riverboat pilots) won a 12 over 5 matchup over Southern Polytechnic, Biola won a 10-7 game against Our Lady of the Lake University and 11th- seeded Mountain State upset 6th- seeded Martin Methodist. Here are scores for Continue reading