Preview: UAFS vs Midwestern (NCAA National Tournament)

For the first time as a member of NCAA Division II, the UAFS Lions are going to the NCAA Tournament. The Lions are the sixth seed in the South Central Region and will face the third seed, Midwestern State (Wichita Falls, Texas).

Midwestern State (22-7) is the Lone Star Conference champion and currently ranked No. 23 in the country. The Mustangs average 74.9 points per game while holding their opponents to only 67.9 points per game. They also out rebound their opponents by 7.5 rebounds per game (41.3-33.8). The Mustangs are led by senior guard Monzaigo Williams, who is scoring 15.9 points per game. Williams was recently named to Daktronics second team All-Region. Two other players score in double figures: Xavier Blackburn (11.3) and Dejuan Plummer (10).

UAFS, the regular season champion of the Heartland Conference, come into the game averaging 85.0 points per game while allowing their opponents to score 75.1 points per game. The Lions (21-6) out rebound their opponents by 6.8 rebounds per game (40.7-33.9). The Lions are led by senior guard Jake Toupal, who was also named to Daktronics second team All-Region. Toupal averages 14.3 points per game. Freshman guard Seth Youngblood, the Heartland Conference Freshman of the Year, leads the team with 14.5 points per game. Freshman guard Alex Cooper is also in double figures (10) and is averaging just over 19 points per game in the last three games.

This will be the Lions first National Tournament appearance since 2006, when the Lions won the NJCAA National Championship.

The Lions and Mustangs will tip off at 12 pm MDT, 1 pm CDT.

Four South Central Region teams are ranked in the Top 25: Metro State (No. 1), Tarleton State (No. 3), Colorado School of Mines (No. 13), and Midwestern State (No. 23). UAFS is right outside of the Top 25, receiving 3 votes. TAMIU also received a vote.

NCAA South Central Regional Bracket

Saturday, March 15

*all times CDT*

Game 1: No. 6 UAFS vs. No. 3 Midwestern State 1 pm
Game 2: No. 7 TAMIU vs. No. 2 Tarleton State 3:30pm
Game 3: No. 8 UC- Colarado Springs vs. No. 1 Metro State 7pm
Game 4: No. 5 St. Mary's vs. No. 4 Colorado School of Mines 9:30pm

Sunday, March 16

Game 5: Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner 6pm
Game 6: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner 8:30pm

Tuesday, March 18

Regional Championship

Game 7: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner

Derek Hill
Date Posted: 
Saturday, March 15, 2014