NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana improved its position Tuesday in the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll. The Gold Rush (19-11) received five more points than a week ago and climbed from 31st to 29th.
Xavier is seeded fourth in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament, which will begin Friday with men's games at Dillard's Dent Hall and women's games at SUNO's The Castle. The Gold Rush will play fifth-seeded Tougaloo (13-11) at 2 p.m. The other men's games Friday will match third-seeded Philander Smith (13-15) vs. sixth-seeded Edward Waters (12-16) at noon and second-seeded Dillard (18-10) vs. seventh-seeded SUNO (7-16) at 5 p.m.
Regular-season champion Talladega (24-4) has a first-round bye and will play the Xavier-Tougaloo winner at 2 p.m. Saturday. All Saturday and Sunday competition — the men's and women's semifinals and championship games — will be conducted at Xavier's Convocation Center.
In the coaches poll, Talladega dropped to fourth place after tying for third a week ago. Dillard remained 25th. LSU-Alexandria is No. 1 for the fifth consecutive week and, for the second straight week, received all the first-place votes.
Xavier defeated Tougaloo 85-72 in the 2015 GCAC Tournament semifinals and won both regular-season meetings against the Bulldogs in 2015-16. The Gold Rush rank second in NAIA Division I in field-goal percentage defense (.385) and scoring defense (62.3).
GCAC Tournament ticket prices: $10 for floor seats (at Xavier only), $5 general admission and free to students of GCAC institutions with a valid college ID.
|NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll|
(first-place votes in parentheses — records through Feb. 28)