38 Years Without Going To the Big Dance

In college basketball, the playoffs are called “the big dance,” whether it is Division I with Duke and Kansas, or the Division III schools that do not award any athletic scholarship assistance.

Belhaven University is going to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)  “big dance” – it has been 38 years since we last earned a playoff bid.

This team also had the strongest winning record in the history of Belhaven.  Way to go Coach Tom Kelsey and this team of wonderful student athletes.

The NAIA Division I is a tough brand of basketball. (The NAIA has two divisions – and so we are playing against the best.)

Here is the news release from our sports information office, and other links about the tournament in Kansas City next week:

Kansas City, MO-For the first time since 1972, the Belhaven University men’s basketball team will play in the 2010 Buffalo Funds NAIA Division I Tournament starting next week in Kansas City Missouri. The Blazers will battle Biola University in the first round of the tournament on Wednesday night at 10:30 PM in the final game of the tournaments opening day.

Belhaven comes into the tournament with an overall record of 24-9 which set a new school record for most wins in a season. Biola University out of California represents the Golden State Athletic Conference and is 27-5 in 2010. The Eagles finished second in the GSAC and are ranked 5th in the final NAIA Top 25 Poll. Belhaven finished in a three way tie for second place in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference and made it to the GCAC Tournament Championship losing before to LSU-Shreveport 101-94 Tuesday night.

Nathaniel Roche’ leads the Blazers this season averaging 13.4 points and eight rebounds per game. Larell Bailey averages 11 points per game followed closely by Rob Wallace at 10.8 points per contest. Bailey and Roche’ were also GCAC All-Conference selections for their efforts this season.

All the live play-by-play action of Belhaven’s showdown with Biola can be heard via Stretch Internet through the Belhaven Athletics website starting with the pregame show at 10:15 PM.  The Stretch Internet audio link can be accessed by clicking here. The official NAIA press release and complete tournament bracket can be viewed by clicking on the links below.

NAIA Press Release
2010 Buffalo Funds NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament Bracket

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