Carroll Plans to Put 2016 NAIA Experience to use in 2017
The Carroll’s Men’s basketball teams heads back to NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship for the second straight year. The Saints believe last season’s experience will serve them well this year.
The Saints left for Kansas City, Missouri on Monday to compete for a national title. After experiencing the tournament last season for the first time since 2011, the team knows what to expect.
“It’s a neutral court,” Ryan Imhoff said. “We didn’t know that warm up time was 10 minutes.” “Mental fatigue that we felt last year,” Zach Taylor said, “playing three games in a row.”
Coach Cunningham kept fatigue in mind when making the 2016-2017 schedule. Carroll played eight back-to-back games this season going 14-2 in those contests.
Last season, the Saints held a No. 5 seed at nationals, advanced to the quarterfinals but lost in that very round. This time, Carroll garnered a No. 1 seed in the Cramer Bracket – putting the Saints in a better position to win a national championship.
“If you saw last year how it went,” Carson Cunningham said. “They call it March Madness for a reason. You have to do everything in your power to be locked in.”
Frontier Conference Player of the Year and senior guard Zach Taylor leads the Saints in scoring, as he averages 33.6 points per game. Taylor hopes to add the only thing missing from his resume – a national title.
“Every team is going to be good one through eight,” Taylor said. “It doesn’t matter your seed. You just have to be ready.”
The Saints have today to prepare for their first round opponent Mount Mercy from Iowa.