Central Christian College’s men would like to give the MCAC the ultimate representation in the NAIA National Tournament.
Unlike the other three teams in the MCAC Postseason Tournament, though, the Tigers will have to play their way in by winning two games, starting with the stay-alive game tonight at 7 p.m. against tourney host Bellevue University of Nebraska.
If the Tigers win, they would play the winner of today’s 5:00 game matching Oklahoma Wesleyan and College of the Ozarks at 5 p.m. Saturday for the title.
Bellevue, Wesleyan and Ozarks all figure to qualify, regardless of what happens this weekend since they have been in the Top 25 all season.
Central Christian is 21-8 and finished fourth in the MCAC at 8-6. However, it did defeat Bellevue at Pyle Complex, though the Bruins thrashed the Tigers in the recent rematch in Bellevue.
“Bellevue is a great team.  They are well balanced, they have two great big men, solid guard play, good shooting and depth,” CCC coach Tony Romero said. “They are one of the best defensive teams in the country. They are very athletic on the perimeter and have a 6-10 guy in the middle that leads the nation in blocked shots.”
Romero admits the Tigers will have to be at the top of their game to win, as few teams ever escape Bellevue’s home court with a victory.
“We are going to have to do a good job controlling the pace of the game, rebounding the basketball and establishing our presence in the paint on both sides of the floor,” Romero said. “When you are playing a team like Bellevue, your margin of error is very small. Our main focus this week has been attention to detail and playing smart, we cannot afford any mental lapses.”
The entertaining Tigers are led by their inside “bruise brothers” of Don Gavin and Christopher Jones. Gavin leads the team with a 17.3 average, while Jones averages 16. Jones nearly averages a double-double with 9.7 rebounds a game.
The Tigers recently lost their third-leading scorer, Sean Posey, to an injury. He was averaging just under 13 points. But CCC still has firepower, as super sub Randall Conley averages 12.1 and Kaelon Gary tallies 11.7, while Posey’s replacement, Christian Goolsby, knocked down a six-pack of 3-pointers in the regular-season finale against Oklahoma Wesleyan.