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Eagles await word on possible at-large bid to NCCAA Championship

OC senior Devan White and the Eagles will be rooting for Grace (Ind.) to win its NAIA Division II quarterfinal game Saturday night, which would open up a spot in the NCCAA Championship for OC.
OC senior Devan White and the Eagles will be rooting for Grace (Ind.) to win its NAIA Division II quarterfinal game Saturday night, which would open up a spot in the NCCAA Championship for OC.

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (March 9, 2013) – Saturday will be a day of waiting and watching for the Oklahoma Christian Eagles as they await word on whether or not they’ll receive an at-large bid to the National Christian College Athletic Association Championship.

OC (17-11) fell in the NCCAA Central Region semifinals on Friday to Mid-America Christian, but the Eagles’ final Burbridge ranking – which the NCCAA uses to seed its regional and national basketball tournaments – was high enough that they merit consideration for an at-large bid to nationals.

OC’s hopes for a trip to Winona Lake, Ind., hinge on the result of a quarterfinal game in the NAIA Division II tournament at 7 p.m. in Point Lookout, Mo., between Grace (Ind.) and Dakota State (S.D.).

As the NCCAA tournament host, Grace would receive an automatic bid into next week’s tournament. But if Grace wins Saturday and advances to the NAIA Division II semifinals, it wouldn’t be able to return home in time to play in the NCCAA event that starts Wednesday, opening a spot for Oklahoma Christian.

Grace is unseeded in the tournament but has beaten Tennessee Wesleyan 93-69 and Cal Maritime 72-53. Dakota State also is unseeded, with wins over Warner Pacific (Ore.) and St. Thomas (Fla.) by nine points and one point, respectively.

The Eagles will stay in Bartlesville on Saturday awaiting the result of the Grace-Dakota State game. If Grace wins, they will begin the trip to Indiana. If Grace loses, the Eagles will return home.