If either Lewis-Clark
State basketball team is going to make an extended
run in the national tournament, they'll probably
have to upend some top-shelf opponents early on.
That's what the Warriors
learned when the NAIA Division I tournament bracket
was announced Wednesday afternoon.
The LCSC men, seeded 17th,
will take on 16th-seeded Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.)
this coming Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. PST at the
Municipal Auditorium at Kansas City, Mo. Meanwhile,
the Warrior women will battle Oklahoma City, ranked
third in the final national poll, next Thursday at
8:45 a.m. PST at Oman Arena in Jackson, Tenn.
The L-C men are making
their sixth trip to nationals, and their first
back-to-back appearance. Trevecca Nazarene's
previous tournaments came in 1987 and 2001. These
programs have apparently never met.
The Warriors (25-8) and
Trojans (24-7) seem to be evenly matched. But
whichever club advances to the second round will
probably face Mountain State (W. Va.) -- the
top-ranked team in the country. The Cougars, who
drew Columbia (Mo.) in the first round, have been to
the last two national title games, and won it last
The L-C women's opponent,
Oklahoma City, is the NAIA's most dominate program
over the last decade. The Stars captured five
consecutive national titles from 1998-2002, and have
finished runner-up the last two seasons.
"I've always wanted to play
them. I kind of though it would be in the
championship game," Warriors coach Brian Orr said
with a laugh, "but this is exciting."
The Stars (28-6) have
frustrated opponents with a variety of trapping
defenses. "They do a lot of stuff that takes you out
of your normal routines," said Orr, whose team is
22-10. "It's one of those games you've got to go out
and play basketball and make plays."
Oklahoma City and LCSC have
become frequent combatants at national tournaments
-- and not just in women's basketball. The schools'
baseball teams met for the World Series title in '02
and '03, and the L-C men's basketball team lost to
the Stars in last season's second round.
This will be the third
meeting at the national tournament between the LCSC
women and OCU. In 1999, the Stars beat the Warriors
in the second round; in 2001, OCU eliminated L-C in
the Final Four. That turned out to be Mike Divilbiss'
final game as the Warriors' coach.
Like those clubs Divilbiss'
teams faced, these Stars have an international
flavor. Three players are from Sao Paulo, Brazil,
and two hail from Mali, a country in northwest
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