Tornado ready for NCAA opener against LRU

BRISTOL, Tenn. – For the second time in school history, the King University men’s basketball team has earned a berth to the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship, earning the second seed. King will face seventh Lenoir-Rhyne University on Saturday at top seed and host Lincoln Memorial University.

The Tornado clinched their berth into the tournament with an 85-53 victory over Barton College in the Conference Carolinas Tournament championship game on Sunday. King last qualified for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship in the first year they were eligible in 2011-12 when they earned the fifth seed and fell to Lincoln Memorial.

The matchup with Lenoir-Rhyne could be a high scoring affair as the Bears lead the country with 12.7 three-point baskets per game while the Tornado rank third at 12.2. The Bears average 91.2 points per game and enter the tournament with a 19-9 record while King averages 80.7 points per game and is 25-6 on the season. Lenoir-Rhyne fell to Newberry College in the quarterfinals of the South Atlantic Conference Tournament quarterfinal.

The rest of the Southeast Regional participants includes Lincoln Memorial, Wingate University, Queens University, Columbus State University Montevallo University and Lander University. The Tornado are 2-0 against Southeast region teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament, defeating Lincoln Memorial and Lander.

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