Men's Basketball to Face Emory in Opening Round of NCAA Tournament

Photo by: Brant Sanderlin
Photo by: Brant Sanderlin

ROME, Ga. — After the NCAA Selection Show this afternoon, the Berry College men's basketball team learned that they will open competition in the program's first NCAA Division III tournament appearance at No. 6 Emory University this Friday at 7:30 p.m.


The game will be held at Emory University's George W. Woodruff P.E. Center. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for students with ID, seniors and children age 2-12. Children under two are free. Tickets will be available for purchase on site only.  

Emory's Peavine Parking Decks will be available on Friday after 4:00 p.m. and all day Saturday. On Friday before 4:00 p.m., parking will be available in Peavine Visitors Lot at regular parking rates.
Should the Vikings advance to Saturday's game, that contest would take place at 7:00 p.m. against the winner of LeTourneau University and Hanover College who play Friday at 5:30 p.m.
Berry earned the Southern Athletic Association's (SAA) automatic bid to the postseason after winning the program's first league title this weekend as the No. 8-seed. The Vikings had a miraculous tournament run, opening play by beating the top-seeded Centre Colonels 97-93 for the first time in program history before winning the championship over No. 7 Hendrix on Sunday. The team's historic run marked the first time in SAA history in any sport that the No. 8-seed advanced to face the No. 7-seed in the tournament finals. 
Berry will enter the postseason 11-17 overall, the only team in the field of 64 with a sub-.500 record. The Vikings are, however, peaking when it counts, winning four straight and averaging better than 93 points per game during the SAA tournament. 
Emory concluded the regular season with an overall record of 21-4 and finished second in the University Athletic Association with a 12-2 ledger, the second-highest win total in school history for league play.  The Eagles have won their last five outings and are coming off a 71-61 triumph at Rochester on Saturday.  This year marks the sixth straight and seventh overall trip to the postseason for the Emory program.
The Vikings face the Eagles for the second time this season, falling in their last matchup on Nov. 21, 109-103. Just the third game of the season, Berry used a similar script that led them to an SAA title over the weekend to keep the game tight. Five players scored double-digits, including Caleb Johnson with 22 points and four made three-pointers. Elijah Hirsh contributed a double-double, with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Alton McCloud contributed heavily on defense with four steals, along with his 12 points in the outing. 
This is the first time since 1992 that the Vikings have advanced to the national tournament, with their last appearance coming during Berry's NAIA membership.