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Eagles receive at-large bid to NCCAA tournament, seeded 3rd

Nick Tate and his OC teammates are headed to the NCCAA Championship after receiving an at-large berth.
Nick Tate and his OC teammates are headed to the NCCAA Championship after receiving an at-large berth.

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (March 9, 2013) – The Eagles fly again.

One day after thinking its men’s basketball season had ended with a loss in the National Christian College Athletic Association Central Region semifinals, Oklahoma Christian learned Saturday night it had been chosen as an at-large selection for the NCCAA Championship, set to start Wednesday at Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind.

Not only did OC (17-11) receive the at-large berth, the Eagles also were seeded third. OC will play sixth-seeded Spring Arbor (Mich.) (22-10) at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday.

The Eagles – who waited in Bartlesville, site of the region tournament, on Saturday – already are on the road to the Hoosier State. They will join the Lady Eagles at the NCCAA event, as OC’s women qualified for nationals by beating Southern Nazarene on Saturday in the Central Region title game.

“We are happy to have a second chance,” OC coach Dan Hays said. “I am so happy for our three seniors, Will Reinke, Brandon Troutman and Devan White. We’re glad to join the Lady Eagles in Indiana.”

OC’s hopes for the at-large berth hinged on the result of a quarterfinal game in the NAIA Division II tournament Saturday night in Point Lookout, Mo., between Grace and Dakota State (S.D.).

As the NCCAA tournament host, Grace would have received an automatic bid. But Grace won 72-59 on Saturday, meaning it will play in the NAIA Division II semifinals on Monday and be unable to return home in time to play in the NCCAA event.

Mid-America Christian, which upset the Eagles in the regional semifinals, pulled off another upset Saturday over top-seeded McMurry (Texas) in the title game.