Grand Island, Neb. - Head coach Tom O'Malley and the Saint Xavier University men's basketball team will face off against No. 2 ranked Oklahoma Baptist University (Okla.) in next week's 2010 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Championships in Kansas City, Mo., when the seeds and pairings for the event were released by College Fanz Sports Network Wednesday afternoon. The Cougars will play at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17, at Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City in first-round action of the 32-team, single-elimination tournament. It will be SXU's 10th appearance at the national tournament, including its sixth in the last eight seasons.
"We are excited to get back to the national tournament after missing last season," said O'Malley. "We know we are matched up against a tough foe in Oklahoma Baptist, but our guys are playing well right now and we are hoping to carry that momentum into Kansas City. If we play to our capabilities, our team is very tough to beat."
Oklahoma Baptist comes into the national tournament with a 28-3 overall record. The Bison received an automatic bid for winning the regular season title in the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC). Oklahoma Baptist has dropped two of its last five games, including a 67-64 upset loss to unranked Lubbock Christian University (14-15 overall) in the first round of the 2010 Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament.
Saint Xavier has fared well this season posting a 23-9 overall record and winning the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Tournament with back-to-back upset victories over No. 21 Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) and No. 14 Robert Morris University (Ill.) to earn its automatic bid. The Cougars are playing well down the stretch as well winning seven of their last eight games heading into the national tournament.Click here for the official Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Championships bracket