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2007 bracket (PDF file)
Gold Rush basketball receives NAIA at-large bid
For immediate release . . . March 7, 2007

NEW ORLEANS — For the first time in school history, the Xavier University of Louisiana men's basketball program has qualified three consecutive times for the NAIA Division I National Tournament.

The NAIA announced late Tuesday that the Gold Rush (21-9) was one of 15 teams to receive at-large bids to the 32-team event, which will be played March 14-20 at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. On Wednesday the NAIA announced that Xavier will play third-seeded Georgetown (Ky.) (29-3) in the opening round at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 15.

The Xavier-Georgetown winner will play 14th-seeded Lewis-Clark State or Northwestern Oklahoma in the second round at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 16. Quarterfinals will be played Saturday, March 17, with the semifinals on Monday, March 19 and the championship game on Tuesday, March 20.

"I'm excited for our guys," fourth-year Coach Dannton Jackson said. "This is a big accomplishment for our program. It's the first time our men have been invited to the tournament three straight times. We're working hard to get prepared for the tournament."

Xavier qualified for NAIA tourneys in 2004 and 2005 and did not field a team in 2006 because of Hurricane Katrina. The Gold Rush returned only three lettermen from the 2004-05 team and fielded one of its most inexperienced teams in 2006-07 — eight freshmen were among the 12 to receive playing time. Xavier overcame an 0-4 start in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference by winning 13 of the next 14 games, including 10 in a row, to earn a share of the GCAC regular-season championship with Tougaloo.

"We clicked at the right time," Jackson said. "We progressed steadily. After losing those first four conference games, we gained confidence and climbed back into the conference race. We got to a point where our guys decided they weren't going to lose any more."

The Rush will travel to the national tournament with 14 victories in the last 16 games. The only team to defeat Xavier during that time was LSU-Shreveport.

Xavier is one of three GCAC teams which will advance to Kansas City. Tougaloo received the GCAC's first automatic bid to the NAIA tourney by earning the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. LSU-Shreveport earned the other automatic bid by defeating Mobile 82-62 Monday in Shreveport, La., in the GCAC Tournament championship game.

Leading Xavier is its starting backcourt of junior Mark Stewart and sophomore Shaun Dumas. Both were All-GCAC selections. Stewart averages 16.6 points per game and ranks third in NAIA Division I with 3.3 3-pointers made per game and eighth with a free-throw percentage of .860. Dumas averages 12.7 points and ranks third nationally with 3.1 steals per game and fifth with 6.2 assists per game.

This will be Xavier's 10th appearance in the national tournament; other appearances were in 1972, 1973, 1981, 1982, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2004 and 2005. Xavier has not won a first-round game since defeating Marist 81-65 en route to the quarterfinals in 1973.

NAIA Division I Men's National Tournament
Automatic Qualifiers (with nickname and school location)
American Midwest Conference Illinois-Springfield (Prairie Stars / Springfield, Ill.)
Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Robert Morris (Eagles / Chicago, Ill.)
Frontier Conference Lewis-Clark State (Warriors / Lewiston, Idaho)
Golden State Athletic Conference Azusa Pacific (Cougars / Azusa, Calif.)
Golden State Athletic Conference Concordia (Eagles / Concordia, Calif.)
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference LSU-Shreveport (Pilots / Shreveport, La.)
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tougaloo (Bulldogs / Tougaloo, Miss.)
Independent Qualifying Tournament Park (Pirates/ Park, Mo.)
Mid-South Conference Georgetown (Tigers / Georgetown, Ky.)
Red River Athletic Conference Wiley (Wildcats / Marshall, Texas)
Red River Athletic Conference Houston Baptist (Huskies / Houston, Texas)
Sooner Athletic Conference Oklahoma City (Stars / Oklahoma City, Okla.)
Sooner Athletic Conference Southern Nazarene (Crimson Storm / Bethany, Okla.)
Southern States Athletic Conference Auburn-Montgomery (Senators / Montgomery, Ala.)
Southern States Athletic Conference Faulkner (Eagles / Montgomery, Ala.)
TranSouth Athletic Conference Union (Bulldogs / Jackson, Tenn.)
TranSouth Athletic Conference Crichton (Comets / Memphis, Tenn.)

At-Large Berths (with nickname and school location)
At-Large 1 Mountain State (Cougars / Beckley, W.Va.)
At-Large 2 San Diego Christian (Hawks / El Cajon, Calif.)
At-Large 3 Oklahoma Baptist (Bison / Shawnee, Okla.)
At-Large 4 Cumberlands (Patriots / Williamsburg, Ky.)
At-Large 5 Lambuth (Eagles / Jackson, Tenn.)
At-Large 6 California Baptist (Lancers / Riverside, Calif.)
At-Large 7 Campbellsville (Tigers / Campbellsville, Ky.)
At-Large 8 Jarvis Christian (Bulldogs / Hawkins, Texas)
At-Large 9 Northwestern Oklahoma State (Rangers / Alva, Okla.)
At-Large 10 Olivet Nazarene (Tigers / Bourbonnais, Ill.)
At-Large 11 Lee (Flames, Cleveland, Tenn.)
At-Large 12 McKendree (Bearcats / Lebanon, Ill.)
At-Large 13 Xavier (Gold Rush, New Orleans, La.)
At-Large 14 Westminster (Griffins, Salt Lake City, Utah)
At-Large 15 Westmont (Warriors / Santa Barbara, Calif.)

 

 
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Xavier fields men's and women's teams in basketball, cross country and tennis.

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Xavier University of Louisiana
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Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
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504-520-7934 fax

 
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