2023 CAC Men’s Basketball Championship Begins Friday


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Two nationally ranked teams are among the field of eight competitors for the 2023 Continental Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship, beginning with quarterfinal action Friday, February 24, from Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas.

First-day games will feature:

  • No. 3 seed Washington Adventist University (Maryland) facing No. 6 seed Crowley’s Ridge College (Arkansas), 9:45 a.m.
  • Top seed Florida College playing No. 8 seed Fisher College (Massachusetts), 1:15 p.m.
  • No. 4 seed Voorhees University (South Carolina) battling No. 5 seed Arkansas Baptist College, 4:45 p.m.
  • No. 2 seed Iowa Wesleyan University playing No. 7 seed Haskell Indian Nations, 8:15 p.m.

Semifinal games are planned Saturday, February 25, at 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

The two teams vying for the championship on Sunday, February 26, at 4:30 p.m. will earn the CAC’s automatic bid to the NAIA national championship tournament.

Florida College, ranked No. 14 in the final NAIA Top 25 poll, brings a 24-4 record into postseason play and is the defending tournament champion. Matt Simpson leads the Falcons at 21 points per game, including a 23.6 scoring average across eight CAC games this season. Ladarron Cleveland is averaging 14.2 points per contest while Anthony Bittar is scoring 11.2 points a game.

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Iowa Wesleyan stands 24-2 on the season and is ranked No. 23 in the NAIA Top 25 poll. The Tigers feature a balanced scoring attack with four players averaging between 9.2 and 13.1 points per game. Henry Shannon paces the team at 13.1 points per contest while grabbing 6.4 rebounds a game. Gacoby Jones (11.7 ppg) and Joey Brown IV (10.3 ppg) are other double-figure scores for the Tigers.

Washington Adventist reached last year’s championship game season and stands 20-7 for this season, with victories in all 10 CAC games. The Shock is led by Ethan Murphy at 15.1 points per contest while Mohamed Bundu averages 12.6 points and 6.8 rebounds a game. The team has made 193 3-point field goals this season.

Voorhees stands 13-13 on the season after Monday night’s 80-79 win at Paine College (Georgia). The Tigers are 4-0 in neutral site games this winter and 6-2 against CAC competition. Hector Rosario leads the squad at 12.6 points per game while also having 38 steals. Kristian Ford is shooting 42.5% from behind the 3-point line to score 11 points per contest.

Arkansas Baptist is making its CAC tournament debut after going 14-5 during the regular season. The Buffalos have won five straight games, including a 63-60 victory against CAC’s Crowley’s Ridge last Saturday, and are 8-1 at home in 2022-23. Ryan Stewart leads the team at 14.1 points a game and is shooting 60.2% from the floor. Kendrick Robinson is averaging 13.9 points and 5.1 rebounds a game for the season.

Crowley’s Ridge posted a 6-6 record against CAC competition this winter, with an additional four victories coming during the season. Bo Roberson paces the Pioneers at 16 points per game while shooting 49.6% from the field. Braxton Cousins follows closely behind at 14.3 points across 21 games. B.J. Johnson has a team-high 6.8 rebounds per contest while also contributing 12.5 points per game.

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Haskell Indian Nations stands 9-16 on the season but has a 5-4 record on its home floor, which is the site of this year’s CAC tournament. The team is coming off a 78-77 win at Crowley’s Ridge last Thursday. Tate Bear leads the Fightin’ Indians at 17.4 points per game and has connected on 58 3-point field goals. Bansi King is averaging 16.6 points and recorded 44 steals.

Fisher (14-14) has won four of its last six games and averages 85.6 points scored per contest. The Falcons are led by Ke’Andre Penceal at 18.4 points per game. Dakota Gillespie averages 11.5 points and 7.7 rebounds per contest. The team’s other double-figure scorers are Cross Bandy (14.5 ppg), Kyle Butler-Gaffney (11.1 ppg) and Christian Finney (10.1 ppg).

2023 Continental Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship Schedule

Friday, February 24 (Quarterfinals)

Game 1: No. 3 Washington Adventist vs. No. 6 Crowley’s Ridge, 9:45 a.m.

Game 2: No. 1 Florida College vs. No. 8 Fisher, 1:15 p.m.

Game 3: No. 4 Voorhees vs. No. 5 Arkansas Baptist, 4:45 p.m.

Game 4: No. 2 Iowa Wesleyan vs. No. 7 Haskell Indian Nations, 8:15 p.m.

Saturday, February 25 (Semifinals)

Game 5: Winner of Game 2 vs. Winner of Game 3, 4:30 p.m.

Game 6: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 4, 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, February 26 (Championship)

Game 7: Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 6, 4:30 p.m.