The Northwest University men earned a spot in the 2011 NAIA Division II Men’s National Championships in Pt. Lookout, Missouri as they were awarded the #9 at-large spot in the 32-team, single elimination championship tournament which begins play on March 9 and will play #13 seed St. Francis University of Indiana in the first round. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. CST start. The tournament is held on the campus of the College of the Ozarks which is just south of Branson, MO., a favorite Midwest resort town. The draw and bracket was announced by the NAIA national office this afternoon on the Victory Sports Network.
The Eagles (21-8) finished tied for third with Warner Pacific in the Cascade Conference but were awarded fourth place as Warner Pacific held the tie breaker between the two teams. St. Francis comes into the national tournament as the #13 seed, the defending 2010 NAIA national champion and 24-9 on the season. The Cougars are from the Mid Central Conference and won the league championship tournament defeating #10 Indiana Wesleyan in the final.
For Northwest, this is the second trip to Missouri in 5 years as the Eagles traveled to the Midwest in 2007 and made their way to the semifinals before being ousted by Mayville State. The Eagles take a team which has balanced scoring with their top three players averaging 10 points or more and led by 6-8 senior Greg Peters (Belmont, St. Vincent) at 12.5 points per game. Junior Jordan Call (Kirkland, Wash.) averages 12.0 ppg and 6-9 senior post Greg George (Seattle, Wash.) averages 11.8 ppg. The Eagles have five other players who average 7 points per game or more.
“I’m proud of what this group has accomplished this season and especially happy for the seniors,” commented NU head coach, John Van Dyke. “I like our draw. It’s a great tournament and the 32-team venue is a one-of-a-kind type of national championship. We’re proud to be representing the Pacific Northwest and the university.”
Posted on Friday, March 4, 2011