Barry University men’s basketball team is headed back to the NCAA Division II national tournament.
The second-seeded Buccaneers (24-5) will play seventh-seeded Union (20-10) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Florida Southern’s Jenkins Field House in Lakeland in the opening round. Florida Southern (30-1) is the top seed and will play eighth-seeded Benedict (19-11) at 5 p.m.
Sixth-seeded Lynn (19-9) was also awarded an at-large bid and will play third-seeded Alabama-Huntsville (23-8) at noon. No. 4 seed West Georgia (21-8) meets No. 5 West Alabama (22-11) at 7:30 p.m.
This is Barry’s second appearance in a row in the NCAA tournament and fifth overall. It marks the first time in school history the Bucs will be making back-to-back trips to the national tournament.
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“I’m very proud of our season, the whole, as a body of work,” Bucs coach Butch Estes said. “We look forward to playing in the biggest tournament of all them, regrouping and coming back and having another opportunity.”
Barry fell to Delta State 82-77, in overtime in the first round of last year’s tournament in Lakeland. The Bucs are 1-4 in the NCAA tournament all-time.
Barry University moved up nine spots in the second round of the Southeastern Collegiate hosted by Valdosta State in Valdosta, Georgia.
The No. 2-ranked Buccaneers shot 284 in the second round, recovering from a tough first day, to move into a tie for fourth place at 587 with Florida Southern, which shot 295 Monday. Saint Leo shot a blistering 276 in the second round and leads the 18-team, 90-player tournament at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club’s 7,311-yard track. Flagler is third at 9-over 585.
Barry’s Mario Beltran is tied for third after shooting 1-under-par 71 in the second round. He is two strokes behind leader Joey Savoie of Saint Leo, who shot 68 to lead at 6-under 138. Forrest Knight of North Alabama is second at 139 after firing a 5-under 67 in the second round.
▪ Nova Southeastern 9, Butler 0: The host Sharks (10-0) continued their undefeated run by defeating Butler (3-10).
The day began with a clean sweep of doubles play. In the top flight, Sabrina Kierberg and Francesca Sella defeated Konstantina Adami and Kylie Haviland 8-4.
The scores became wider from there, with Irina Constantinide and Petra Jurova defeating Kailey Eaton and Bailey Padgett 8-3. In the final match, Alexandra Johansson and Alex Kaeser defeated Anglea Qin and Rachel Sutton 8-2.