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Three basketball foes make NCAA tourney

By on March 16, 2014 in Sports with 0 Comments
ACU forward Austin Cooke battles Xavier's Isaiah Fillmore (31) and Justin Martin (20) in a Nov. 25 game in Cincinnati, Ohio.

ACU forward Austin Cooke battles Xavier’s Isaiah Fillmore (31) and Justin Martin (20) in a Nov. 25 game in Cincinnati, Ohio.

How tough was the non-conference men’s basketball schedule played by Abilene Christian University in 2013-14?

Two of the Wildcats’ early season opponents were named this afternoon to the NCAA tournament, and a third thinks it should be.

Xavier (21-12 overall, 10-8 in the Big East Conference) made it, as did Iowa (20-12 overall, 9-9 in the Big Ten). Towson (23-10 overall and 13-3 in the Colonial Athletic Conference), was left on the outside looking in at the Big Dance.

Two other ACU opponents – Maryland and St. Bonaventure – had solid records in 2013-14. The Terrapins were 17-15 overall and 9-9 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and St. Bonaventure finished 18-15 overall and 6-10 in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

ACU plays in the Southland Conference, whose champion earns an automatic bid, which Stephen F. Austin State won impressively with its 31-2 overall record and perfect 18-0 mark in the league. ACU lost to SFA, 64-48, in a game in Nacogdoches played without the Wildcats’ two top scorers. The Lumberjacks, a No. 12 seed in the West regional, will meet fifth-seeded Virginia Commonwealth University in a game in San Diego, Calif.

SFA played a strong schedule, earning a 52 RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) score that is one of the tools used by the NCAA Selection Committee (Xavier was 47 and Iowa 57). The Lumberjacks’ non-conference schedule also included Texas, Towson, East Tennessee State, James Madison, Marshall, Samford and North Carolina-Wilmington. SFA’s only losses were on the road at Texas and ETSU.

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Ron Hadfield

About the Author

About the Author: Ron Hadfield is editor of ACU Today magazine and assistant vice president for university communication at Abilene Christian, where he began work in 1983 overseeing Creative Services at his alma mater.
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