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Championship Game Preview

March 12, 2013
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Matt Bos-Media Coordinator
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo.
- For just the third time in the championship history, the top two seeds will be playing for the 2013 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship. Top-seed William Penn (Iowa) will play #2 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) for their first ever national title tonight at 8:05 pm at the Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo. The championship game will be televised live on televised live on CBS Sports Network.

The 1999 and 2012 championship games were the only other years where the top two seeded teams played for the title. #1 Cornerstone defeated #2 Bethel (Ind.) 113-109 (OT) in what was the highest scoring game ever at the championship. Last season, #2 Oregon Tech defeated #1 Northwood (Fla.) 63-46 in the lowest scoring championship game. Both William Penn and Cardinal Stritch are playing in their first ever national championship game.

William Penn, in its fourth ever appearance at the championship, finished the year ranked first in the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Poll, a spot they held for the final three weeks. They are 34-1 overall and defeated McPherson (Kan.), Bethel (Ind.), Midland (Neb.) and Grace (Ind.) to earn a spot in tonight's championship game. The Statesmen won the both the Midwest Collegiate Conference regular season and postseason championships.

Cardinal Stritch, in its 10th national championship, owns a 34-3 overall record and was ranked second in the final three coaches' polls. They defeated Jamestown (N.D.), Bellevue (Neb.), Dordt (Iowa) and Indiana University Southeast to reach the title game. The Wolves also won both the regular season and postseason championships in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference

For a closer look at the teams, see below:

William Penn: #1 seed; 34-1 overall-Midwest Collegiate Conference
1st championship game appearance; 4th national tournament  (4-3 record)
Points/Game: 79.5 ppg (2nd)
Points/Game Allowed: 68.2ppg
Scoring Margin: +11.25 (2nd)
FG%: 38%   3pt FG%: 31%    FT%: 73% (7th)
Reb: +11 (1st)    38 3pters (1st)-9.5 per game (2nd)
Leading Scorers:
  Keith Steffeck-20.5ppg, 49% FG; 11 3pters (3); 38% 3pt; 8.5rpg
  Brandon Beasley-14.5ppg, 33% FG, 14.5 reb (1st)
  James Devlin: 13.8ppg, 5 3pters, 4.5 apg
  Taylor Stoutner-13ppg, 15 3pters (1st); 36% 3pt; 6rpg
  Blake Walker-6.5ppg, 6rpg, 3apg
  Kevin Fay-6.5ppg, 5 3pters
  Arman Rasul-4.7ppg 

Cardinal Stritch: #2 Seed; 34-3 overall-Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference
1st championship game appearance; 10th national tournament (10-9 record)
Points/Game: 76.5ppg (7th)
Points/Game Allowed: 61ppg (T2nd)
Scoring Margin: +15.5 (1st)
FG%: 48% (2nd)    3pt FG: 43% (1st)   FT%: 72% (8th)
Reb: +4 (T7th)   33 3pters (2nd)-8.3 per game (4th)
Leading Scorers:
  Derek Semenas-17.3ppg, 41% FG, 8 3pters (T8), 40% 3pt%; 5.8rpg, 3.3apg
  Darren Moore-15.3ppg, 71% FG% (3) 8.5 reb
  Tony Smit-13.5ppg, 9 3pters (T6); 47% 3pt%
  Jeremy D'Amico-8.8ppg, 8 3pters (T8), 53% 3pt %; 5.3rpg
  Nick Ford-6.5ppg, 7apg (2nd)
  Mike Simpson-6.5ppg
  Chad Mazur-4.5ppg

For all the stats, scores and tournament leaders, go to the following DakStats page: http://www.dakstats.com/websync/pages/Tournament/TournamentPage.aspx?association=10&sg=MBB&tour=1051

Semifinal Scores:
#1 William Penn (Iowa) def. Grace (Ind.), 79-58
#2 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) def. Indiana University Southeast, 69-56