March 9, 2011

Men's Basketball - NCAA Tourney Notes

Click Here For Complete Game Notes (PDF)

Saturday, March 12
NCAA-II Midwest Region Quarterfinal
Ferris State vs. Wayne State, 12 p.m.
Live On Sunny 97.3 FM (Rob Bentley - Play by Play)
Live Bulldog Sports Network Audio Broadcast
Live America One Video Webcast
Live Internet Statistics
Live Facebook Scoring Updates
Live Twitter Scoring Updates

* The Game: The Ferris State men's basketball squad received a NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament berth on Sunday (March 6) in a live announcement made during the NCAA-II Selection Show.  FSU is the region's sixth-seed and will face third-seeded Wayne State this Saturday, March 12, in a 12 p.m. (ET) regional quarterfinal game at Louisville, Ky.  Bellarmine University earned the top seed and will serve as the tourney host with all games to be played inside BU's Knights Hall.

* Ticket Info: Tickets for the FSU-Wayne State contest can be purchased at the Knights Hall Box Office beginning at 11 a.m. (ET) on Saturday.  The $10 general admission tickets will allow access to the general admission sections behind the team bench areas.  In addition, $12 reserved chair-back seats and $5 student tickets will also be available. A separate ticket will need to be purchased for each session, which consists of two games. The facility will be cleared between sessions. There is no discount for purchasing multiple sessions and no complimentary tickets will be issued per NCAA regulations.  All tickets are cash or check only. For more info, please contact Bellarmine's athletic office at 502-272-8380.

* Media Coverage: Live coverage of FSU's NCAA-II Midwest Regional Tournament games will be provided by the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM with Rob Bentley calling the play-by-play action. Live audio will be streamed online and Bellarmine will offer a free live video webcast in addition to internet statistics. Links to follow all the action will be available at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com (click on the "upcoming events" scoreboard tab or team schedule page).

* Follow On Twitter/Facebook: In addition to radio and internet coverage, Bulldog fans can follow all FSU tournament games via Twitter & Facebook. To access the feed, please visit www.twitter.com/ferrisathletics or www.facebook.com/ferrisathletics to follow the tweet-by-tweet social media coverage with periodic scoring updates.

* Rematch Is Set: Ferris State, which is presently 22-7 overall this season, is the region's sixth seed and will face the third-seeded Warriors (22-7) in Saturday's opening game of the afternoon quarterfinal session. The contest is a rematch of this past Sunday's (March 6) Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament Championship game won by the Warriors 73-71 on a tip-in with one second to play at FSU's Jim Wink Arena. FSU had previously posted a 78-66 triumph over WSU in league regular-season action (Feb. 17) at home this season.

* What's At Stake: The Midwest Regional champion will advance to the 2011 NCAA Division II Men's Elite Eight set for March 23-26 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass.

* The Records: Ferris State (22-7, 16-3 GLIAC) has presently won 14 of its last 16 games to date this year and 16 of its last 19 overall.  The Bulldogs won the GLIAC North Division Championship this season and served as the host for the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals & Finals.

Wayne State (22-7, 14-5 GLIAC) placed tied for second in GLIAC South Division regular-season play before winning the GLIAC Tournament Championship this past weekend in Big Rapids.

* The Coaches: Ferris State  – Bill Sall (Calvin, 1994), 9th season, 142-128 (.526) – (5-10 vs. WSU).  Sall was a two-time NCAA Division III All-American at Calvin College from 1985-90 and previously held assistant coaching positions at Calvin (1992-95), Ferris State (1995-98) and Hillsdale (1998-02).  He served as FSU's interim coach for a brief portion of the 1995-96 season.
   
Wayne State – David Greer, 10th season at WSU. Greer led the Warriors to four-straight GLIAC Tourney berths and back-to-back NCAA-II Tourney bids, including a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2004.

* The Regional Matchups: The other quarterfinal round games Saturday feature second-seeded Southern Indiana (24-5) squaring off against seventh-seeded Drury (22-7) at 2:30 p.m. (ET) along with top-seeded Bellarmine (27-2) battling eighth-seeded Indianapolis (19-8) in a 6 p.m. (ET) tilt. The second game of the evening session will pit fourth-seeded Northern Kentucky (20-8) taking on the number five-seed Kentucky Wesleyan (19-9) starting at 8:30 p.m. (ET).

* The Semifinals/Finals: The winners of Saturday's four quarterfinal round games will advance to Sunday's (March 13) regional semifinals with the championship game set for Tuesday, March 15. The winner of the Ferris/WSU game will play the winner of the USI/Drury game Sunday at 5 p.m. (ET) with the winner of the Bellarmine/Indy game facing the winner of the NKU/KWC game in the second semifinal at 7:30 p.m. (ET). Tuesday's title game tips off at 7 p.m. (ET).

* FSU Tourney Notebook: FSU has made eight previous NCAA-II National Tournament appearances, including an Elite Eight showing in 1988-89. Ferris most recently appeared in the national tournament in 2005-06, which was the Bulldogs' second consecutive trip after capping off a banner 2004-05 season with a runner-up finish in the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament at Findlay, Ohio ..... Ferris holds a 7-9 all-time mark in national tournament play at the NCAA level .... The Bulldogs made four-straight trips to the regional tournament from 1987-90 .... This year's appearance marks the third time the Bulldogs have advanced to the NCAA Tourney under head coach Bill Sall.

* Tournament Fact: The single-elimination 64 team national tournament field includes eight regions of eight teams apiece.

* Official FSU Hotel: The Holiday Inn Lakeview, which is located nearby in Clarksville, Ind., will serve as the official hotel for Ferris State University and Bulldog Basketball fans can receive a discounted fan rate of $79.95 per night.  Fans should call the Holiday Inn Lakeview at (812) 283-1601 and reference "The Bellarmine University Festival Tournament" for the special rate.

* More Ticket Info: If the Bulldogs advance to Sunday's (March 13) regional semifinals, then tickets will go on sale in the lobby of Knights Hall immediately following the Bulldogs' game on Saturday.  FSU fans are encouraged to purchase tickets as soon as possible should the Bulldogs win their quarterfinal contest due to availability. For more information, please contact Bellarmine's athletic office at 502-272-8380.

* FSU Served As Host: Ferris State served as the host for the 2011 GLIAC Tournament Semifinals and Finals last weekend (March 5-6) after earning the GLIAC's top overall seed this season. It was only the second time in school history and the first time since the 1994-95 season in which the Bulldogs played host to the league's final four teams.  Both Ferris and Findlay posted identical 16-3 league regular-season marks in winning their respective divisions, but FSU emerged as the number one seed in the league's complex tiebreaker formula and hosted the event last weekend.

* All-GLIAC Awards: Ferris State reaped the benefits of its success this season as the Bulldogs were well-represented on the All-GLIAC eams for the 2010-11 season. Senior forward/center Justin Keenan earned the GLIAC's Player of the Year Award for the second consecutive campaign.  In addition, head coach Bill Sall claimed the GLIAC Coach of the Year Award for the first time in his career in voting conducted by the league's member head coaches as FSU took two of the three major conference awards.The postseason awards and all-conference teams were announced at a banquet last Friday (March 4) evening at The Rock dining facility on the FSU campus in conjunction with the GLIAC Semifinals/Finals, which were hosted by Ferris State last weekend (March 5-6). Senior guard Darien Gay joined Keenan on the All-GLIAC North Division First Team after earning second team status a season ago. In addition, senior forward Lou Williams claimed all-conference recognition for the first time in his career by being named to the GLIAC North Division Second Team. Finally, the Bulldogs also had two of the division's five selections on the GLIAC All-Defensive Team as junior guard Dontae Molden joined Williams on the squad.

* Bulldog Rankings: Ferris State was listed 23rd in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II Top 25 National Poll last week (March 2) prior to dropping out this week.  The Bulldogs were listed as high as 21st in the national rankings the week before. FSU originally cracked the national rankings for the first time in more than four years at the 24th spot in late November, but had not been ranked since that time until the final two weeks of the regular season.

* National Ranking Note: Last week's national ranking marked the third time the Bulldog men's basketball team had been listed among the nation's top 25 teams in the NABC poll this year.  However, the apperance at number 24 in the Nov. 23 poll earlier this year had been FSU's first since Feb. 28, 2006, when they also came in at number 24 nationally. Overall, last week's showing represented the 24th time the Bulldogs have been ranked in the top 25 going back to 1972.  It also marked the seventh time FSU had been ranked under current head coach Bill Sall.  He led FSU to as high as number 19 in 2004-05 en route to the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen.  Prior to three national ranking appearances that season, Ferris had not been ranked nationally in nearly 16 years going back to 1989.

* Pertinent Fact: The Bulldogs' 22 victories to date this year are the program's most since reaching the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen with a 24-7 mark in 2004-05 and the Bulldogs' 16 league wins are tied for the most in school history along with the perfect 16-0 GLIAC record recorded in 1988-89.

* Outstanding Success: Ferris' 22 victories this year are the program's second-most in the last 22 seasons.  FSU's most during the stretch was 24 wins (24-7) in 2004-05 when the Bulldogs reached the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen.  Overall, the 22 wins to date are tied for the program's sixth-most in more than 80 seasons of basketball action dating back to the 1920's.

* First Midwest Berth: While Ferris State is making its ninth all-time NCAA Division II Tournament berth, it is the first trip to the Midwest Regional for the Bulldogs.  FSU's first three national tournament bids were to the North Central Regional Tournament before making five to the then named Great Lakes Regional Tournament.

* Against The Region: The Bulldogs have compiled a 21-6 mark against Midwest Region schools to date this year as all but two games have come against regional foes.  Included in the figure was a 18-4 mark against teams from the GLIAC, counting postseason play.

* Last NCAA Game: FSU's most recent national tournament game came in 2005-06 when the Bulldogs suffered a narrow 74-69 loss to nationally top-ranked St. Joseph's (Ind.) in the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional hosted by SJC in Rensselaer, Ind.  The eighth-seeded Bulldogs took the top-seeded Pumas to the wire in the contest.

* Taking On The GLIAC: The Bulldogs are presently 0-1 all-time against GLIAC member schools in NCAA Tournament play with the lone previous game coming against regional host Findlay in the 2004-05 NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Final at UF's Croy Gymnasium in Findlay, Ohio.  The Bulldogs dropped the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen matchup by a 94-73 score.

* Against The GLVC: Ferris State owns a current 2-5 all-time mark against Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) opponents in national tournament play heading into this year's regional tournament.  FSU beat two GLVC foes in the 2004-05 tournament with wins over Indianapolis and Southern Indiana.

* Going Back In Time: This year marks the first time the Bulldogs have reached the NCAA-II Tournament, made the GLIAC Tournament Championship Game and achieved 20 wins or more all in the same season since the 1997-98 campaign.

* Back To The Dance: Ferris State head coach Bill Sall was an assistant coach under former head coach Edgar Wilson when the Bulldogs won the GLIAC Tournament for the only time in school history to reach the NCAA-II Tourney in 1997-98.  Therefore, he's been involved in the last four of FSU's nine NCAA Tournament appearances counting this season.

* Hitting The Road: Saturday's game against Wayne State will mark the Bulldogs' first game away from Jim Wink Arena since a 83-67 win at Ashland on Feb. 12 as the Bulldogs have played their last six contests in Big Rapids, including the final three regular-season outings and three league tournament games.

* Regional Player Of The Year: Ferris State's Justin Keenan was tabbed Wednesday (March 9) as the Daktronics Great Lakes Region Player of the Year after being the leading vote getter for the all-region squad in voting by sports information directors.  Keenan claimed Daktronics All-Region honors for the third-straight year, including first team status for the second year in a row.

* The Massey Ratings: Ferris State currently ranks 22nd nationally in the latest Massey computer rankings.  The Bulldogs are one of 13 teams from the Midwest Region found among the nation's top 65 teams this past week in the computerized index listing.  FSU is sixth overall among the Midwest Region teams in the system.

* GLIAC Coach Of The Year: Ferris State head coach Bill Sall earned the GLIAC's Coach of the Year honor after directing the Bulldogs to their first GLIAC North Division Championship in six years with a 16-3 league regular season mark this season.  FSU's 22 wins overall this campaign are the program's most since reaching the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen with a 24-7 mark under Sall's leadership in 2004-05.  The ninth-year head coach also guided Ferris State to its sixth GLIAC Tournament berth in the last seven years and a second-straight final four appearance while cracking the national rankings for the first time in more than four years.  Additionally, Sall's squad earned the league's top overall seed and the right to host the GLIAC Semifinals/Finals for the first time since the 1994-95 season.

* GLIAC All-Tourney Team: Ferris State seniors Justin Keenan and Darien Gay were both named to the GLIAC All-Tournament Team for their play in helping the Bulldogs to a runner-up tournament finish this past weekend.

* Against The Field: Ferris State holds a current 1-3 mark against the NCAA-II Midwest Regional Tournament field this season.  Two of the three losses came against GLVC member schools as the Bulldogs fell to both Drury (Mo.) and Kentucky Wesleyan in the Owensboro Classic over the Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 26-27) in Owensboro, Ky.  Ferris' lone win came over Wayne State in the regular-season prior to the loss to the Warriors in last weekend's GLIAC Tourney title game.

* Change Of Fortune: Ferris suffered five-straight losing seasons from 1998-99 to 2002-03, but has since captured three GLIAC North Division titles, made seven GLIAC Tournament appearances, advanced to three NCAA-II Tournaments and claimed two conference tournament runner-up finishes over the last eight seasons.

* Among The Best: FSU's 22 wins this season ranks tied for the sixth-highest total in more than 80 years of Bulldog basketball. Additionally, the Bulldogs' 16 conference regular-season wins tied for the most in 39 seasons of league play.

* Preseason National Player of The Year: A returning consensus NCAA-II All-American, Ferris senior center Justin Keenan was tabbed as the Division II Bulletin Preseason National Player of the Year for the 2010-11 campaign. The three-time All-GLIAC First Team honoree was the 2010-11 GLIAC Player of the Year for the second year in a row after leading the league in scoring for the third consecutive campaign.

* Among The Leaders: FSU's Justin Keenan currently ranks among the nation's top 20 players this year in both scoring and rebounding.  He is the only player in Division II to rank among the top 20 in both categories to date this season.

* Still Looking To Win: The Bulldogs fell to 0-3 all-time against Wayne State in GLIAC Tournament play with Sunday's GLIAC title game loss.  FSU previously suffered a 72-67 loss in 1992-93 at Marquette, Mich., in addition to a 68-63 setback in 2004-05 at Findlay, Ohio.

* Bulldog Record Book: Ferris State's Justin Keenan has set a school single-season record with 221 made free throws to date this year.  He holds the top three seasonal efforts in the category in school history ...... Justin Keenan's 625 points to date this year is the fifth-highest seasonal figure in Bulldog history ...... Matt DeHart is tied for third in school single-season history with 71 made three-pointers to date this campaign ..... Senior guard Darien Gay currently has 440 career assists and needs only five more to tie Tim Herman (1975-79) for fourth place on the Bulldogs' all-time career list.

* FSU History: Ferris State's impressive basketball tradition includes 12 GLIAC titles, nine NCAA Division II Tournament appearances and a berth in the 1988 NCAA-II Elite Eight. Ferris, which last won the GLIAC Tournament championship during the 1997-98 campaign, captured a then league record four consecutive conference titles from 1986-90.

* Third Meeting This Year: Saturday's contest will mark the third meeting this year between FSU and WSU. Ferris and Wayne State played once during the regular-season with the Bulldogs winning 78-66 (Feb. 17) at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.  The Warriors responded with a 73-71 win over FSU in the GLIAC Tournament Championship Game on Sunday (March 6) at Wink Arena.

* Scouting WSU: Wayne State is currently 22-7 overall and ranked among the league's top teams in the South Division with a 14-5 conference slate under 10th-year head coach David Greer.  The Warriors have won five of their last eight games overall to date and are paced in scoring by sophomore guard Mike Hollingsworth (16.1 ppg.).  Wayne State defeated Findlay 73-64 in the GLIAC Semifinals last Saturday (March 5) prior to beating the Bulldogs in the GLIAC Tournament Championship Game.  WSU was 14-13 overall in 2009-10 and placed third in the division with a 12-10 GLIAC record.

* Series Info vs. WSU: The Bulldogs hold a 38-36 series' edge over Wayne State, but have dropped 13 of the last 18 series' games to date.  Ferris beat WSU by a 78-66 score in this year's only regular-season meeting three weeks ago (Feb. 17) at Wink Arena prior to falling 73-71 on a last second tip-in during the GLIAC Tourney title contest on Sunday (March 6) in Big Rapids.  Last year, WSU recorded a 85-78 win over FSU at Wink Arena in the second meeting (2/27/10) after Ferris had notched its first win over Wayne State in the Motor City since 1994-95 with a 54-52 victory in the first matchup (1/21/10).  The Bulldogs snapped a nine-game series' losing streak with a 70-65 home triumph in 2006 (2/16), which was the squad's first win over WSU since 1996-97.

Click Here For Complete Game Notes (PDF)

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