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Nuggets, Rush draw Faulkner in first round of nationals
March 6, 2013

Tournament brackets (PDF files):  Men    Women

     NEW ORLEANS — It'll be a double shot of Faulkner for Xavier University of Louisiana's basketball teams in next week's NAIA Division I National Championships.
     Both the Gold Nuggets and Gold Rush will play Faulkner, a Montgomery, Ala., university, in first-round matchups on Thursday, March 14. The XU women will play Faulkner at 10:45 a.m. at the Frankfort Convention Center in Frankfort, Ky., and the XU men will play the Eagles at 9:45 p.m. at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.
     The NAIA announced pairings for its women's and men's tournaments Wednesday night, about three hours after revealing new top-25 polls and the teams which qualified for nationals. This is the ninth time that the Nuggets and Rush qualified in the same season, but it's the first time they'll play the same school in the opening round.
     Xavier's women are 24-5 and ranked 12th, and the Lady Eagles are 25-6 and ranked 21st. Xavier's men are 24-7 and tied for 16th, and Faulkner is 28-5 and ranked 18th. The Gold Nuggets are one of four No. 3 seeds, and the XU men are a No. 15 seed overall, their highest since 2001. The women's and men's tournaments both have 32 teams, but the brackets are seeded differently.
     For the Nuggets, it'll be a rematch of a Dec. 29 game which Faulkner won 66-64 in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Huntingdon College in Montgomery. But for the Rush, it'll be the first meeting with Faulkner since the 2004-05 season.
     "We'll have a very good matchup with Faulkner," said XU women's coach Bo Browder, whose teams have qualified for nationals in 12 of his 14 seasons. "However, Faulkner will have an advantage with their 6-3 All-America center, Brittney Carter. Can we guard her?"
     Carter, a senior, had 18 points and 11 rebounds against Xavier in December and scored the winning basket with four seconds remaining.
     Faulkner's men have beaten Xavier 3-of-5 times and won the last three meetings. Most recently, the Eagles won 67-62 at The Barn on Nov. 18, 2004 — Xavier's only loss in its first 10 games that season.
     "Our team is excited about being selected and to be able to represent our university at nationals," said XU men's coach Dannton Jackson, whose teams have qualified in eight of his 10 seasons. "Faulkner is a tough team with a great post game. We have some common opponents with them. We are looking forward to the challenge."
     Both Xavier games will occur on the second day of first-round matchups. The Gold Rush game will be final one of the men's first round, the same thing Xavier experienced in 2008 against California Baptist. That game tipped off approximately 45 minutes late and finished around midnight.


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 teams in basketball, cross country, tennis and track and field and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis, track and field and volleyball.

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Xavier University of Louisiana
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