KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After jumping to No. 14 in the fifth NAIA Top 25 Div. I Coaches' Poll released back on Feb. 14, the Raven Men's Basketball team dropped to No. 24 in the final regular-season poll released by the NAIA on Tuesday.
Benedictine (21-9) finished the regular season in a three-way tie for second place in the final Heart of America Athletic Conference standings but posted a 1-3 mark since the Feb. 14 poll. As a result, the Ravens dropped 10 spots this week after earning 58 points in the poll.
Two of those three losses came to current No. 2 William Penn University and current No. 22 Grand View University. The third loss was at the hands of Heart opponent Mount Mercy University, who joined Benedictine and Grand View in the three-way tie for second place.
Headed into the Heart Tournament, which begins tonight with the Opening Round, the Ravens rank 13th in NAIA Div. I in scoring defense per game (69.7) – a number that leads the Heart by almost 10 points per game. They also rank 21st in 3-point field goal defense (32.1) and 22nd in field goal defense (41.5). Those two numbers rank second and fourth in the Heart heading in to the conference tournament.
Individually, Thomas O'Connor ranks seventh in the NAIA in 3-point field goal percent at 48.5 percent, a number that leads currently leads the Heart. AJ Goss is ranks 19th in total steals (53) while Andre Yates ranks 19th in points per game (18.3).
As the No. 4 seed in the Heart Tournament, the Ravens will host No. 5 seed Graceland University at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Ralph Nolan Gymnasium.
Ticket prices for the Heart Postseason $6 for general admission for adults, $2 for students 17 and under while Benedictine students will be admitted for free with a valid ID presented at the student entrance located at the end of the hallway leading to the Ralph Nolan Gymnasium. Season Tickets will not be accepted for admission to the Heart Postseason Tournament.
The Semifinal round is scheduled for Saturday and will take place on the campus of the higher seeded teams in the two game match ups. A win on Thursday paired with a win by William Penn would send the Ravens to Oskaloosa, Iowa, on Saturday for their Semifinal game. A win by Benedictine paired with an upset of William Penn would allow the Ravens to host a Semifinal on Saturday.