JBU receives bid to NAIA men's basketball tourney

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Siloam Springs, Ark (March 19, 2003) - For the first time in school history, the men's Golden Eagle basketball team has been selected to the 32-team field for the NAIA National Tournament at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.

After several years of vying for an at-large bid, John Brown University finally received that at-large bid Wed., March 19 and will be making its first-ever NAIA national tournament appearance. JBU will play in first round action on Wed., March 26 at 10:30 p.m. against the 7th ranked team in the nation, Azusa Pacific University from Azusa, Calif. John Brown enters the tournament with a 22-10 record while Azusa Pacific has a 27-6 mark for the season. In addition to the Golden Eagles, five other Sooner Athletic Conference teams made the 32-team field. This is also the first time that 6 schools from the SAC have made the national tournament in the same year.

JBU is hosting a pre-game party for friends, fans, alumni and parents at the Doubletree Hotel across the street from the auditorium. The pre-game party will begin at 8:30 p.m. in the Penthouse Ballroom. There will be great food, door prizes and more. Tickets to the game may be purchased at the gate. Reserved tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students; general admission tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students.

Commenting on John Brown’s invitation, Coach John Sheehy said, “I am extremely happy for the team after their hard work throughout the year. This is a culmination to a fine season. With 8 new players on our roster and 6 of them freshmen, we had not anticipated this at the beginning of the year. It is good for not only for our players, but also for the school. We knew that it would be close for us getting in, but this is evidence of how evenly matched the teams in the Sooner Athletic Conference are. Two of our league teams got automatic berths and four received at-large bids. Playing in the SAC is great preparation for the national tournament. We proved during the season that we can play with the top teams in the country with wins over Oklahoma Baptist when they were ranked number 1 and later when they were number 3 and we had two wins over Oklahoma Christian, a team that played in the finals of the SAC tournament. Our goal will be to play to our potential and if we do that we will fare well and not be disappointed.”

The Doubletree Hotel in downtown Kansas City is offering a special fan rate for JBU fans attending the tournament. Call them and mention JBU and you will be able to stay for $89/night. Their phone number is 1-816-474-6664.

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