BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - The 22nd-ranked Union College men's basketball team will open the 2014 National Association of Athletics (NAIA) Division II Men's Basketball Tournament on Thursday, Mar. 13, as the Bulldogs play No. 11 St. Thomas (Fla.). Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m. EST.
The entire tournament, which begins on Mar. 12, will be played at the Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo.
Union enters the tournament on the heels of one the greatest seasons in program history.
Led by second year head coach Kevin Burton, the Bulldogs enter the postseason with a 28-4 overall record, the best in the history of the program. The team captured both the Appalachian Athletic Conference Regular Season and Tournament Championships, marking the first time since 1971-72 that a Union men's basketball team had done so.
The Bulldogs, who during the season posted a school-record 13-game winning streak, ended the regular year ranked in the NAIA Coaches' Poll for seven straight weeks. Union is led individually by forward Deante Johnson, an All-AAC First Team selection, who averaged 16.1 points per game, and ended the season second in all of NAIA Division II in field goal percentage at 68.3 percent.
This is Union's third trip all-time to the NAIA National Tournament, the last coming in 2011, where the Bulldogs dropped their first round game to Walsh (Ohio), 81-59. All-time, Union is 0-2 at the National Tournament.
St. Thomas, who ended the season with a 25-6 overall record, automatically qualified for the National Tournament after capturing the Sun Conference Regular Season Championship with a 16-2 league mark. This marks the third straight season that the Bobcats have qualified for the National Tournament.
The Bobcats, led by head coach Patrick Gayle, will be making their sixth trip all-time to the National Tournament. They have posted an overall mark of 2-5 in National Tournament play, and have won a game in the tournament the last two seasons, besting Mount Mercy (Iowa) in the first round last year, 85-72.
For the full tournament bracket, click here.
For more information on the 2014 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament, click here.