The KCAC played out according to seeding in the quarterfinals, with the top 4 men’s and women’s seeds advancing to Saturday’s semifinals to play for the right to an automatic bid to the NAIA Division II National Tournament (Sterling swept both the men’s and women’s regular-season titles for that automatic bid) .
What’s different about this year – what’s awesome about this year – is that the finals are going to be at Hartman Arena. It’s a huge coup for the league. That they’ve made a terrible mistake by playing the men’s game at 6 p.m. and the women’s game at 8 p.m. is neither here or there … lots of people eat their appetizers after dinner, right?
On to the semifinal matchups, and my picks:
No. 4 Bethel (16-13) at No. 1 Sterling (25-4), 7 p.m. – This place will be rocking for this game, which gives the crowd a couple of hours to go grab dinner and get back to campus after the men’s semifinals at 2 p.m. No way the Threshers can handle this type of pressure in this type of atmosphere. MY PICK: STERLING
No. 3 Southwestern (22-6) at No. 2 Kansas Wesleyan (28-2), 7 p.m. – Great matchup. And shows how incredibly competitive the top 3 teams were in the KCAC this year. No doubt both of these teams should be in the national tournament. One of them won’t. MY PICK: KANSAS WESLEYAN
No. 4 Tabor (18-10) at No. 1 Sterling (18-10) – I’ve got your upset … right here. KCAC men’s division was pretty weak this year. Nobody is blowing anybody away and nobody is going to win a game at nationals. MY PICK: TABOR
No. 3 Bethany (14-15) at No. 2 McPherson (18-12) – McPherson is well-coached, and Tim Swartzendruber showed this season that he could lose almost every single player he had off a really good team … and still put together a really good team. MY PICK: MCPHERSON
Short and sweet.