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Semifinal Preview

March 12, 2012
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By Matt Bos, Media Coordinator

POINT LOOKOUT, Mo.- The 2012 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship Fab Four is set and four of the top five seeds in this year's tournament field will be playing tonight. Top-seeded Northwood (Fla.) gets things started against No. 5 McPherson (Kan.) at 6:00 p.m. CDT. The nightcap features No. 2 Oregon Tech against No. 3 Davenport (Mich.). The 2012 event is being played at the Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo.

The four teams left all have 30 or more wins and have a combined record of 130-14. Two teams, Davenport and McPherson, are playing in their first ever semifinal while Oregon Tech is playing in its fifth. Northwood is playing in its second consecutive semifinal after losing 82-52 last year to eventual 2011 national champion Cornerstone (Mich.). The Seahawks are trying to become the first top seed to win the title since Oklahoma Wesleyan did so in 2009. Five number one seeds have won the title in the 20 years of the Division II event.

Northwood brings a 33-3 overall record into Monday's semifinal. They are one of three teams from The Sun Conference to qualify for the tournament and did so by winning both the regular season and postseason titles. The Seahawks opened tournament play with a 67-50 win over College of the Ozarks (Mo.) and then eliminated unseeded Marian (Ind.) 62-54 in the second round. Northwood took care of No. 8 Northwest (Wash.) 77-50 in the quarterfinals to ensure its return to the Fab Four. The Seahawks have been to the national tournament all six years that basketball has been offered and are 9-5 at the championship. They are coached by Rollie Massimino, who won a NCAA Division I championship as the head coach at Villanova in 1985.

McPherson is the championship's fifth seed and is 33-3 heading into the semifinal. They have won 11-straight games and captured both the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference regular and postseason titles.  The Bulldogs needed overtime to defeat unseeded Dakota State 69-63 in the first round. They beat Saint Thomas (Fla.) 86-74 in the second round and came back from a seven-point deficit in the final 35 seconds to defeat No. 4 Dordt (Iowa) 82-78 in Saturday's quarterfinal. Head Coach Tim Swartzendruber is in his fourth season at McPherson and his teams are 5-2 all-time in three years at the national tournament.

Davenport (Mich.) is making its third overall appearance, all in the last three years, to the national tournament. The Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference regular season and postseason champion is 32-4 and earned the third seed in the 32-team tournament. Head coach Burt Paddock, in his third season with the Panthers, guided his team to the quarterfinals last year before losing to runner-up Saint Francis (Ind.) 61-57. This year, they defeated William Penn (Iowa), 85-81, in the first round, No. 14 Indiana University Southeast, 77-67, in the second and No. 6 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), 68-54, in the quarterfinals.

Oregon Tech enters the Monday's game with a 32-4 overall record and is making its fifth semifinal appearance. The tournament's all-time leader in wins (31) is the only team left to have played in the title game, winning it all in 2004 and 2008 and losing to Bethel (Ind.) in 1998. Oregon Tech won the Cascade Conference regular season and postseason titles and has a six-game win streak heading into Monday. Danny Miles, in his 41st season as the head coach of the Hustlin' Owls, has over 900 wins over the course of his career. They defeated Lourdes (Ohio) 58-49 in the first round, Warner (Fla.) 69-50 in the second round and knocked off last year's runner up, Saint Francis (Ind.), 100-67 in the quarterfinals.

Fab Four Match-Ups:
#1 Northwood (33-3) vs. #5 McPherson (33-3), 6:00pm
#2 Oregon Tech (32-4) vs. #3 Davenport (32-4), 8:00pm

Semifinals by the numbers (at tournament):
Northwood-#1 seed (33-3 overall)
  Team stats:
     13th in scoring offense (69ppg)
     2nd in FG % (50%)
     5th in 3pt FG % (40%)
    T14th in rebound margin (+2)
     2nd in steals per game (13)
     6th in 3pt per game (8.3)
  Individual stats:
  Jonathan Dunn-17ppg, 5 3pters, 3.3 apg
  Masse Doumbe-12.7ppg, 7.7rpg,
  Patrick Horstmann-9.67ppg, 8.7rpg,
  Thierno Agne-8.3ppg, 7 3pters (T6th), 4.3rpg
  Tyrone Davis-4.3apg (T9th),

McPherson-#5 seed (33-3 overall)
   Team Stats:
      3rd in scoring offense (79ppg)
      7th in FT % (72%)
      9th in FG % (45%)
      2nd in 3pt FG % (45%)
     13th in rebound margin (2.3)
     13th in steals per game (7.3)
     T7th in 3pt per game (7.3)
   Individual Stats:
  Aaron Frazier-20ppg (10th), 8 3pters (T4th), 7.3 rpg, 3 apg
  Samson Shivers-14ppg, 9 3pters (2nd),
  Jordan Crawford-13.7ppg, 9.3 rpg,
  Chris Crawford-7.3ppg
  Adam Bruner-7.3ppg

Davenport-#3 seed (32-4 overall)
  Team Stats:
   4th in scoring offense (77.7ppg)
   6th in FG % (47%)
   11th in 3pt FG % (37%)
   10th in rebound margin (4.7)
   10th in steals (8.3)
   T9th in 3pt per game (7)
   Individual Stats:
      James Nelson-19.7ppg, 7 3pters (T6), 5rpg, 3.7apg
      Lonnie Fairfax-16ppg, 6.3rpg, 7apg (T2)
     JaVontae Ford-12.7ppg, 6 3pters
     Damacious White-10.3ppg
     James Humphrey-7.3ppg

Oregon Tech: #2 seed (32-4 overall)
   Team Stats:
   6th in scoring offense (75.6ppg)
   2nd in free throw % (81%)
   12th in 3pt % (35%)
   7th in rebound margin (+8)
   5th in steals per game (9.3)
   T9th in 3pt per game (7)
   Individual Stats:
   Bobby Hunter-22ppg (T5th), 5 3pt,
   Jason Gamblin-11.7ppg
   Kyle Gomez-10.7ppg, 5.7 rpg,
   David Clarke-9.7ppg, 7 3pt (T6), 3.3 apg