Kansas City, Mo. - Head coach Tom O'Malley and the No. 7 nationally ranked Saint Xavier University men's basketball team received word that they will take on University of St. Mary (Kan.) in the first round of the 2013 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship in Point Lookout, Mo., when the seeds and pairings for the event were officially released by the NAIA national office Wednesday evening. The 32-team, single-elimination tournament is divided into four, eight-team brackets with the top 16 teams seeded. The Cougars will match up against the Spires in first-round action on Wednesday, March 6, with a scheduled 9: 45 p.m. (central) tip-off at the Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo.
University of St. Mary (Kan.) comes into the National Championship ranked just outside of the top 25 in the final NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll. The Spires enter the contest with a 22-8 overall record and qualified for the National Championship after claiming the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) regular season title. USM fell to McPherson University (Kan.) in overtime, 91-82, in the quarterfinals of the KCAC Conference Tournament.
Saint Xavier has had an impressive season thus far posting a 28-5 overall record and finishing as Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) runner-up after an 84-75 loss to No. 2 ranked Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) in the conference tournament championship. This marks the first time since the 2009-10 campaign that SXU has advanced to the NAIA National Championship. The Cougars fell in the first round to Oklahoma Baptist University, who went on to claim the 2010 NAIA National Championship.
Click here to see the entire bracket for the 2013 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship.