Thursday, March 2, 2017

Union College Earns No. 1 Overall Seed in NAIA DII Men's Basketball Tournament

Union College earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NAIA DII Men's Basketball Tournament.

The Bulldogs will face Aquinas (19-14) in the first round on March 8 at 5:45 p.m. Aquinas is the 8-seed in the Naismith Bracket.

If Union wins, they will face the winner of Dakota Wesleyan and College of the Idaho on Friday at 9:15 p.m.

Warner (26-4) is the 2-seed in Union's 8-team pod. Trinity International (28-5) is the 3-seed.

Here are more details via UC:

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. – The National Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) officially announced Wednesday the teams and pairings for the 2017 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship, and Union College is the top-seeded team in the Naismith Bracket.

The 32-team event will get underway on March 8 with the Championship game on Tuesday, March 14. The weeklong tournament takes place at Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo.

Announced earlier in the day, Union maintained its top spot in the final regular-season edition of the NAIA Division II Top 25 Coaches' Poll. The field is divided into four brackets – Naismith, Cramer, Duer, and Liston; and each bracket is seeded one through eight. In Union's bracket are:

No. 2 seed Warner (Fla.) (26-4)
No. 3 seed Trinity International (Ill.) (28-5)
No. 4 seed Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) (23-9)
No. 5 seed College of Idaho (23-9)
No. 6 seed College of the Ozarks (Mo.) (20-9)
No. 7 seed Taylor (Ind.) (20-11)
No. 8 seed Aquinas (Mich.) (19-14)

Union and Cornerstone (Mich.) are the only 30-win teams entering the tournament as both are 30-3 overall. Cornerstone is the No. 1 seed in the Liston Bracket, where Appalachian Athletic Conference rival Reinhardt (Ga.) is the No. 7 seed.

The Bulldogs open play against the Saints of Aquinas on Wednesday, March 8, at 6:45 p.m. EST/5:45 p.m. CST.

Aquinas qualified for the tournament by finishing as the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament runner-up as they lost to Cornerstone 65-51 on Tuesday. Although 19-14 on the year, the Saints recorded an 87-77 upset win over then-No. 1 Cornerstone on Feb. 15.

Like Union, this is Aquinas' fifth trip to the NAIA Division II Tournament. The Saints are 1-4 in their previous four trips with the last visit coming back in 2009. The Bulldogs are also 1-4 in their four appearances and are making their fourth trip in a row.

Here's a look at the Naismith Bracket (Complete Bracket):

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