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NAIA    Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I National Championship
At Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, Mo.
Thursday, March 20: Xavier (24-9) vs. California Baptist (23-8), 9:45 p.m.
Tournament Links  •  Pregame  •  Notes  •  Live Video  •  Live Stats  •  Story  •  Box

10 schools qualified men's and women's basketball teams for NAIA Division I nationals in 2007 and 2008:
Azusa Pacific, Cumberlands, Lambuth, Lee, Lewis-Clark State,
McKendree, Oklahoma Baptist, Oklahoma City, Southern Nazarene and XAVIER.

Gold Rush vs. California Baptist at NAIA nationals
March 12, 2008

NEW ORLEANS — After two outstanding showings against top-four seeds in its most recent opening rounds of the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship, Xavier University of Louisiana drew a lower-seeded team when the pairings were announced Wednesday.

The Gold Rush (24-9) will play 10th-seeded California Baptist (23-8) at 9:45 p.m. next Thursday (March 20) at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. It will be the last of 16 first-round games played over two days.

Xavier will appear in the national tourney for a fourth consecutive time, which extends a school record. The streak does not include 2006, when Xavier suspended athletics in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The Rush lost 81-79 to fourth-seeded Robert Morris (Chicago), an eventual semifinalist, in the 2005 first round and upset third-seeded Georgetown (Ky.) 82-79 in 2007 — Xavier's first victory at nationals since 1973.

Xavier, the preseason pick to win the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference, finished third in the regular season and lost 80-76 Monday at fourth-ranked LSU-Shreveport in the GCAC Tournament final. But by joining LSUS in the final, the Rush clinched the GCAC's second automatic bid to the tournament. LSUS earned the first berth by winning the regular-season title, and a third GCAC team — No. 16 Mobile — received an at-large bid.

LSUS (30-2), seeded fourth in Kansas City, will play Science and Arts (17-15) at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. Mobile (22-9) will play 16th-seeded Trevecca Nazarene (24-8) at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday.

California Baptist, No. 13 in the final coaches poll, won 15 of its first 16 games this season before tying for third in the Golden State Athletic Conference and finishing second in its conference tournament. The Lancers will make their fourth consecutive appearance in the national tournament, and they're one of four GSAC teams to qualify this season.

The matchup will be the first between Xavier and California Baptist. The game will be Xavier's first against a California opponent since December 2004, when the Rush lost 72-67 to Christian Heritage (now San Diego Christian) and 80-60 to Concordia on consecutive nights at Irvine, Calif.

The championship game will tip off at 8:30 p.m. on March 25. Oklahoma City beat Concordia (Calif.) 79-71 in the 2007 final, and both schools qualified for this year's tourney.

 

 
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.

Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive
Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
(504) 520-7329 phone
(504) 520-7934 fax

 
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