The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Men's Basketball team was upended in the semifinal round of the Mid-South Conference (MSC) Basketball Championship Tournament to Georgetown College on Saturday 76-69 in overtime. The loss moved the Patriots to 19-11 overall, but still was an impressive enough showing in the tournament to move UC into the final NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll.
UC jumped into the poll at #24 in the final edition of the Top 25 poll. The Patriots received 61 total voting points. Cal State San Marcos came away with the final #1 ranking of the 2013-14 season as the postseason starts. The Cougars received 9 of the 10 first place votes and 250 total voting points. The University of Pikeville (Ky.) received the final first place vote and sits at #2 with 242 total voting points.
Other notable teams in the NAIA Top 25 include Emmanuel College (#7), Freed-Hardeman (#9), and Georgetown College (#16). Others that received votes include Life University, St. Catharine, and Belhaven University.
With the #24 ranking and a solid effort in the postseason, the Patriots secured an at-large bid into the 77th Annual Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship Tournament in Kansas City, MO. They will take on #9 seed and NAIA #10 ranked Rocky Mountain College. The Battlin' Bears, the regular season champions of the Frontier Conference, went 23-7 overall this season and 12-4 in conference play. They were very impressive at the end of the season winning 10 of their final 11 games, including the Frontier Conference Tournament Championship over Westminster 93-64.
The game between UC and Rocky Mountain will be on Wednesday March 19th at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. Tipoff is set for 11:45 am eastern time. The winner of that contest will take on the winner of the game between St. Thomas (Texas) and #8 Emmanuel (Ga.) on Friday March 21st at 10:00 am eastern time.
For more information on the Patriot Men's Basketball program along with other Patriot athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.