Saturday, March 12, 2016

XU to play LC State in 6th straight trip to nationals

NEW ORLEANS — For the sixth consecutive season, Xavier University of Louisiana men's basketball is headed to the national tournament.
The Gold Rush (21-12) received an at-large bid Wednesday to the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I National Championship. Xavier will play Lewis-Clark State (28-4) at 8 p.m. March 17 — the second day of first-round games — at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.
Xavier, Georgetown (Ky.) (25), LSU-Shreveport (12) and Columbia (Mo.) (6) have the longest active streaks of consecutive appearances at nationals.
Xavier is one of four teams seeded eighth. Lewis-Clark State is a No. 1 seed.
The meeting of Xavier and Lewis-Clark State will be their first. The Warriors, from Lewiston, Idaho, won Frontier Conference regular-season and tournament championships.
Xavier maintained its No. 29 ranking in this week's coaches poll after a 94-92 double-overtime victory against Tougaloo — the Rush trailed by 17 points in both halves — and a 75-67 victory against two-time defending champion and then-fourth ranked Talladega at the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament.
Lewis-Clark State is ranked fourth.
The GCAC has three teams at nationals for the third consecutive year and the 10th time in 15 seasons. Talladega, which dropped to No. 6 nationally, is in the tournament for the third consecutive year. Dillard qualified for the first time since 2003, but the Bleu Devils fell out of the top 25 despite an 84-71 victory Sunday at Xavier in the GCAC Tournament final.
Second-round games will be played March 18, followed by quarterfinals March 19, semifinals March 21 and the championship game March 22. The Xavier-LC winner will play Freed-Hardeman or Our Lady of the Lake at 9:45 p.m. March 18.

NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses — records through March 8)

1Georgetown (Ky.) (8) 28-3219 2
2LSU-Alexandria (1)28-32111
4Lewis-Clark State 28-41966
6Talladega 23-51804
7Columbia (Mo.) 28-51769
8Hope International26-51757
9William Penn27-616210
10Texas Wesleyan24-71548
12MidAmerica Nazarene25-8141tie-11
13Freed-Hardeman 25-7138 tie-11
14Mid-America Christian23-912514
15Peru State 22-1011316
16Arizona Christian 22-810815
17William Carey20-1110317
18Our Lady of the Lake20-89918
19Carroll (Mont.)21-99520
22Montana Western19-125623
24Oklahoma City15-105222


Dropped from rankings:  No. 24 William Jessup, No. 25 Dillard

Others receiving votes:  Dillard 43, LSU-Shreveport 35, William Jessup 31, Xavier 26, Southwestern Assemblies of God 22, Dalton State 13, William Woods 3, Avila 3

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

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